• Vol. 43 No. 9, 437–438
  • 15 September 2014

Predicative Genetic Testing for Alzheimer’s Disease

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the most common types of dementia worldwide and it is of tremendous concern to individuals and society at large. Current diagnostic criteria are based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), and they are coded as major neurocognitive disorders due to AD. Risks of developing AD are associated foremost with genetic factors and age. Other contributing factors may include sex, education level, concurrent medical problems and lifestyle. Members of the general population are at an approximately 10% to 12% risk of developing AD in their lifetime, while those with a first-degree relative who has AD have a 2- to 4-fold increase in risk. Risks are also much higher for those who have a family history of autosomal dominant AD. Therefore, asymptomatic individuals, especially those who have relatives with AD, may seek predicative genetic testing because of their concerns about early cognitive symptoms, advance planning for financial or personal affairs, and relief from anxiety

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