Terry Moran did a special on Alzheimers Disease. He had a parent that died of Alzheimers and he discussed genetic marking to find out if he had the gene. He did the test and found out he had a 16% chance of getting Alzheimers. While he said he was glad he did the test, he did say that because they currently do not have a cure and one might not be available for 10-15 more years, he and his wife are taking steps now to plan ahead. It got me thinking. Since my mother has Alzheimers, I wonder how likely I may get the disease. Has anyone had the genetic testing? What are the pros and cons? I dread the thought of my husband and children having to go through what we are experiencing with my mother.
I would not have the testing done for several reasons. You should always be prepared but knowing you might get a disease is not going to help. He has a 16% chance of getting ALZ but he also has an 84% chance of NOT getting it. The other lady in the special had a highter percentage chance. You could see her devestation. I don't want to live with that hanging over my head. The genetic testing is not progressed to the point that it can give you more than a percentage. It's not definitive. When you are done you don't know much more than you did before. Grandmother, Mom, and Dad all have had dementia. That tells me I have a change... I don't need a number to know that.
One of my major objects is the move to the National Medical Data Base that has been proposed. Every doctor, insurance company, hopsital, and medical facility will have access to your medical records. If a genetic test determined that I had a better than average chance of developing ALZ, what would happen to the possibility of getting insurance or the quality of medical treatment.
So rather than getting genetic testing I have educated my daughter on what to look for. She knows my wishes. If it happens it will and we will deal with it then Until then, I will live....
The sudden increase in Dementia cannot be based on heredity alone. One factor is old age, since many are living longer. But in my opinion the real reason is an unhealthy life style, so common in our society. Fast food with little or no real nourishment in it and the resultant epidemic of obesity. Sedentary life styles when we were made to move! A selfish attitude of 'me first' which numbs the mind. Electronic devices booming in our ears while we ignore the beautiful sounds of nature and human conversation.
We have to get back to healthy living, caring for others, eating sensibly. I think someday our great great grandchildren will read about our generation in history books and shake their heads in wonder when they learn that half of us were overwieght while others in the same world were starving to death.
Maybe our whole society has a kind of social Alzheimers!
Living a healthy life is the best prevention, better than any genetic tests. And working towards clean air and water, less light pollution, and allowing access to undamaged nature in places where we leave the cell phone and the i pod and computers home!
One of the best things coming out of this recession is having a family garden - children learn that food comes out of the ground, not the can, and the fresh food is so delicious it will end their appetite for greasy junk.
When my mum was diagnosed, I bought a book called "The Alzhiemer's prevention Plan" by a doctor called Patrick Holford. He believes that we are all deficient in one or more of the 4 neurotransmitters. You traverse multiple questions to determine which deficiency you have. Then suggests which supplements to take daily. My husband and I follow the regime daily. Each ofm us have a deficiency in different neurotransmitters. It has been nearly 4yrs now. I used to be on antidepressants, but my brain chemistry has changed due to the supplements i'm taking. I do brain training and read a lot. I wouldn't take a genetic test either.
I agree with you Martha. It's not all about genetics. I do believe living longer is a major factor. The recession didn't bring back my garden. I have had one all of my life. When I left the farm of my childhood and married the "city boy" little did I know that he was a farmer in waiting instead of just an engineer. Two years into marriage he dug up part of our little back yard. Then we bought the mini farm and the rest is history. I can and freeze and eat fresh out of the garden whenever possible. Right now it is asparagus time. For the next month I will eat asparagus until I turn green.
I do look at Mom and Dad. They were both in their late 70's when dementia struck them. Nobody else in Dad's family lived that long. I do believe Mom's family does have a genetic component to their ALZ, but her Mom got it in her 60's and mom waited 10 years longer. Mom's life style was much healthier than grandmother's. It bears out at least delaying the process So I eat chicken and fish, fruits and veggies out of the garden, and ride my bike while challenging my friend to pop quiz, scrabble, and sudoko games.
I take one capsule containing all the vit B's, 1000 microgrammes vit C, zinc, calcium and st. John's wort (liquid form). My mum ate healthy all her life. She was diagnosed when she was 65. She just recently turned 70. She took anti-depressants for 32yrs. Last week my doctor was asking me about my mum's dementia history. She agreed she was young, and had an aggressive/rapid decline in her dementia. She told me that longterm use of anti-depressants are contributing to the rise in EOAD. You sound like you have a fantastic time growing your own food. I love asparagus.
I'm on course with everything but the st john's wart. But I have grown it lol. Never have attempted to use it. I love fesh asparagus. It is probably my favorite veggie. I usually have enough to can a little for the winter but it never taste as good as it does right out of the field.
Mom never took antidepressants until about the time she realized there was something "not right" in her mind. She decided it was depression because god would not give her ALZ. The only time I would even entertain the idea of me being depressed was when I was on Statins. Once I was off of them I became myself again. Sometimes I do wonder about that connection. I truly do believe there is not only the longevity connection but also some environmental element to the ALZ epidemic whether it be aluminum, medication, or food additives. Everybody has their own theory.
Adding to all of our confusion and worry about medications are things that happen such as this - yesterday a relative (FIL of my niece) had to have a liver transplant. How did his own liver get so damaged in a man who neither smoke nor drank? A few years ago he was put on a heart drug ... and told to have his liver checked every 6 months. At the last exam his dr said the liver values are a little off, but don't worry, keep taking the drug. Then his liver failed entirely. He nearly died and it is not yet sure he will live.
I often wonder if the disease or the drug is worse ...
Hi not been on to here for a while - RL got in the way!
Anyway, in answer to the question - I'm not sure I would get tested. At least not til there was a 100% accurate test. I don't think I would want to know!
Mum was diagnosed with AD nearly 3 years ago at age 75. Her mother also had dementia (cause unknown) but lived til she was 88.
Shortly after Mum was diagnosed, a friend who knew about my grandmother too, said "doesn't that make you nervous for yourself?" But do you know up til then - it hadn't! Didn't occur to me! lol
I have asked the doctors and the consensus is it is early onset that is hereditary, so I shouldn't draw any conclusions.
So I just figure I'll keep myself as healthy and active as I can for as long as I can and not expect anything either way. After all Mum did so many things right re avoiding AD - keeping active, eating well, doing crosswords, puzzles, etc - although she did struggle with weight and was on anti-depressents for some time - but it didn't stop her getting AD so there must be more to it than that.