Do Healthy Seniors Need Alzheimer’s Testing?

senior-manWhen it comes to aging, one of the most feared conditions associated with it has to be Alzheimer’s disease. No one wants to watch the cognitive decline that cause people to lose even their most cherished memories. However, medical professionals are not all in agreement when it comes to testing for Alzheimer’s risk. We will discuss a few different viewpoints that people share.

Difficult to determine symptoms

One of the reasons that some healthcare professionals to advocate for brain scans is because there aren’t obvious symptoms to people who might be struggling with the initial stages of Alzheimer’s. Those at risk for early-onset Alzheimer’s typically have shown a specific chromosomal mutation.

Unfortunately, this is not a definitive indicator of whether someone will struggle with Alzheimer’s later in life. In addition, brain scans, blood tests, and genetic tests are often not covered by your health insurance plan. Those are not the sole reasons that some healthcare professionals discourage Alzheimer’s tests.

Genetic Testing Results Are Not Definitive

While there is a certain risk for Alzheimer’s in later life with genetic testing, environmental and lifestyle factors play a role too. Even though these tests can identify a higher probability of developing the disease, it does not come with any degree of certainty. The telltale genetic markers are not present in everyone who develops Alzheimer’s disease.

Some Insurance Companies Will Not Pay

It is rare to see insurance companies pay for brain scans or genetic testing for Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, it could previously have led to the denial of coverage for those at risk. Knowing might not always have beneficial results (financially speaking).

The Risk of Unnecessary Stress

The psychological strain that might occur when someone knows that they are at a greater risk of developing an incurable disease is something that worries some medical providers. Just because you have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease does not necessarily mean that you will develop it over time. In fact, in thinking that the illness is inevitable, it could cause unnecessary distress in seniors.

 

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