If you were likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease, would you want to know?

Estimates suggest that more than 5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common cause of dementia among older people. Today’s Question: If you were likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease, would you want to know?

  • If I had a propensity to Alzheimers, I’d want to know, without question. Forewarned is forearmed.

  • Joanna

    Absolutely. I’ve watched elderly relatives go through terrible fear and their loved ones struggle too long with confusion and denial before getting a diagnosis. I’d rather be prepared, and help my family be prepared.

  • DMox

    I watched my Grandmother struggle for years, fearing she was “going crazy.” Alzheimer’s wasn’t a part of her vocabulary, and the doctors blamed everything from medications to blood flow before getting it right. It was precious time that she suffered needlessly.

    If there is a way to tell me that I’ll get Alzheimer’s in 50 years, I definitely want to know now. It will shape the way I live, the choices I make and the preparations my loved ones can make.

  • Meegan

    I would want to know so I could try to do whatever I could to make it easier on my daughter and husband.

  • Wade

    I would have to say yes. I am a huge proponent of living one’s life. If I knew that sometime in the future I would be unable to do so as well as being a burden to my family. I would spend the cash doing things I love doing with my friends and family.

  • Lon Lamprecht

    Certainly yes – responsible rational persons would want to prepare on all levels; personally, with family/friends… Facing the fear of knowing/not knowing is the first challenge and far better to do that while able.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Yes. It would be helpful information for retirement planning.

  • Sue de Nim

    I just say this prayer: “God, grant me the Senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.”

  • GaryF

    Yes, I think I would owe it to my wife and son.

  • Alex

    I would like to know. It would help me plan my life in a totally different way.

    I would quit my job, become a writer and travel the world.

  • CF

    No I would not. What’s the point of knowing you are likely to die of an incurable disease like Alzheimer’s, cancer or ALS? What can you do about it anyway?

  • Angela B

    I would want to know. My father and his brother and sister all had Alzheimers, and I now get really apprehensive when I forget something. Knowing for sure would make a difference in how I live.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Of course. It’s not like knowing what day you’re going to get run over by a bus. It’s a medical malady that can be planned for, if not yet totally preventable.

    And ALEX, guess what? You’re gonna die someday. If you don’t like your present job but would rather be a writer and travel the world, do it. You won’t regret it. I promise. ( As long as you don’t have children who need you around).

  • I work for the Alzheimer’s Association and we often hear from people with the disease that although getting a diagnosis is difficult news, it is validation and they wish they would have known sooner so they can start planning. There are many benefits to an early diagnosis (www.alz.org):

    – People in the early stages of the disease will be better able to report symptoms and concerns and understand their own disease process

    -Opportunities to find community resources, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, that may maximize opportunities for independence

    -More time to plan for the future

    -Increased ability to choose their care team

    -Best opportunity to benefit from available treatments

    -Ability to participate in clinical studies (TrialMatch)

    -Gives families the opportunity to learn about Alzheimer’s and plan for their future together, which may result in reduced stress and feelings of burden

    If your concerned about memory loss, call our 24/7 Information Helpline at 800-272-3900 or visit alz.org.

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  • Kevin VC

    If this is in regards to the quacks you had who think medicine should have blissful ignorant patients…. ARGH!!!!

    Heck yes!

    While one has their faculties still in order one can then prepare.

    What moron of a set of doctors think they should sit there and not HELP or inform the patient? Seriously!

    The patient also needs to be informed of the risks and options, all of them. I will agree some situations have low risk, but you better be informing the patient.

    Failure to do so is really malpractice.

    I had to turn off MPR today when I heard the guy tell one patient who did get a test done that saved his life that he was WRONG for saving his own life…… WTF?! Seriously?!

  • Naomi

    I AM likely to develop Early Onset Alzheimer’s, my mother has it (started at 49) and grandmothers on both sides, along with many other relatives. I want the genetic testing, but I don’t want to be denied health insurance and life insurance.

    At 35, I see the next 15 years of my life as my last; and have planned my future around not being able to work past my mid 50’s instead of being able to retire in my 60’s like everyone else. Worst case scenario, I get it and can afford to live, best case; I will be set for retirement and be able to do so comfortably.

  • dick holt

    Absolutely….no question, for all the reasons stated by other responders. If nothing else it would give you time to seek out and make a plan to end your life.

  • Judith L. Oakes

    ABSOLUTELY. We are going through this journey now with a very close friend from college who was in denial about her illness until she was…not there anymore. She lost the ability to plan for her future care, to say goodby to her loved ones, to put her affairs in order and to hear her life celebrated by those who love her. Having her participate in planning for the future would have saved her family much anxiety. I would not want to lose those opportunities.

  • GregX

    Yes. Finding out later on …. isn’t really useful.

  • Roger

    The answer is yes if one is mature enough and spiritually evolved enough. Knowing this does give you the advantage to plan. However, if you are not advanced enough to live in the moment, to accept things as they are, and if you are in constant anxiety, then you should not know.

  • Cheese Mcdongle

    I dont know that I would want to know if i had alzheimers. However, if i did have alzheimers, i would taco monkey butt cheese snarf your ball doodle with blort.

  • William B

    Yes I would want to know. Then i could get started on my remembering journal now so that I would keep the info I want to remember all together. I may not remember but I should be able to read my journal. Anyone remember the movie 50 first dates?

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