Should I Get Genetic Testing for Alzheimer's Disease?

October 13, 2023
February 1, 2023
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Bre'anna Wilson
February 1, 2023
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Originally posted in the Bambu Care Champions community.

According to World Alzheimer's Report 2022


Although strongly hereditary forms of Alzheimer’s disease are fairly rare, it is possible to identify a specific genetic cause for early onset familial Alzheimer’s disease. If such a cause is found in the affected family member, genetic testing becomes an option for relatives to consider.


Commonly reported personal motivations for genetic testing:

  • Presence of symptoms
  • Find out about personal risk
  • Find out risks for other family members
  • Reduce worry
  • Help with future planning
  • Find out about possible medical, prevention, or treatment interventions
  • Aid research
  • Advice from physicians
  • Advice from family or friends


Commonly reported reasons for declining genetic testing:

  • Emotional impact on self or family members (fear, anxiety, depression, influence on life decisions or plans)
  • Can emotionally cope with having increased risk without testing
  • Prefers to postpone (ie. until after childbearing, children grown)
  • Too preoccupied with other psychosocial problems
  • Time constraints
  • Unclear benefits of risk assessment and of genetic testing
  • Concerns about insurance discrimination
  • Cost of the test


If you're thinking about genetic testing for Alzheimer’s disease and or any other form of dementia, it is important to get help from a healthcare professional or a genetic counselor.

  • They will help you find out whether genetic testing is relevant for you based on your family history.
  • They will also help make sure you understand the testing process and important considerations before getting tested.


To learn more about Alzheimer's disease and genetics please visit: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers-disease-genetics-fact-sheet

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