Sunday, November 18, 2012

Medicine in the News: Alzheimer's Detection

Every week I will post a headline from the news in health care...

An article from the New York Times For Alzheimer's: Detection Advances Outpace Treatment Options, as the title suggests, advancements are being made in technology for detecting Alzheimer's,  but the discovery for treatment options remain stagnant. Those who test positive for the test face new challenges, in addition to those caused by Alzheimer's. These issues include insurance problems, hospital costs, and exhaustion from emotional stresses.

While the test benefits those who are misdiagnosed and test negative by allowing them to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment, it poses challenges for those who test positive and have no known treatment. In these cases, is it best to know even if it brings more problems to the surface? But in the case of having a family, isn't it better to know that you are at risk for this disease?

Should this test be used in all cases? When do the risks begin to outweigh the benefits?

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