Would you want to know?
A recent study by the American Academy or Neurology (AAN) published on Science Daily, revealed that young adults may be able to anticipate their chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
As it turns out, healthy young adults can predict their fate when it comes to this neurodegenerative disease.
The study which was published on July 6th, 2016 discussed how young adults could be able to be assigned a genetic risk score for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Although it was common knowledge that Alzheimer’s had some link to genetics, it wasn’t so clear how or why it could be detected before the arrival of symptoms.
The genetic risk score was determined based on an individual’s “high-risk gene variants.”
This allowed the scientists conducting the study be able to more accurately locate the markers of Alzheimer’s: such as cognitive decline and deteriorating memory function. This data was also compared to the volume of the hippocampus- as a smaller hippocampus along with lower cognitive function resulted in a higher polygenic risk score…approximately at 0.2 percent.
The importance of early detection cannot be emphasized enough.
When we find ourselves lucky enough to be in good health, we shy away from the idea of illness down the road. When it comes to our health, though, ignorance is truly not bliss. With the US facing extremely high health insurance rates, many are choosing to forgo a plan or simply cannot afford it. The risk in this is that many healthy adults are missing out on testing for potential risks down the road.
The problem with this is that prevention is, in the big picture, much less expensive and difficult than treatment for a chronic condition. This is why services such as this can change the game when it comes to the liberation of medical access. Studies such as these reveal just how vital early detection can be- even when you think you don’t need it.
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). “Genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease may be detectable even in young adults.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 July 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160706175555.htm>.