Living With the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Nearly forty-million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and the effects of the disease on the patients and their caregivers varies from case to case. However, with recent advances in medicine, doctors are now able to test, at the request of the patient, an individual’s personal risk for developing Alzheimer’s. The results could weigh heavily on the patient and their caregivers, however, because there is no known effective treatment for the disease. The interdisciplinary project “Ethical and Legal Framework for Predictive Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease: Quality of Life of Individuals at Risk and Their Close Others (PreDADQoL)” aims to address these issues by closing the research gap by creating a clearer framework for the predictive Alzheimer’s testing. The research project will take place at University of Cologne in cooperation with, one of the largest Alzheimer’s clinics in Europe, the Fundació ACE Barcelona. This three year-long project will be funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the amount of 300,000 €. Researchers aim to find out what the benefits and expectations for an individual opting to get tested for their risk of developing Alzheimer’s and to get a clearer idea of what doctors should look for when addressing an individual’s risks.

Key Points:

  • 1The number of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease worldwide is 40 million — and rising.
  • 2Examinations for risk assessment are rapidly increasing, but prediction may have a major psychological impact since there is no effective preventative treatment.
  • 3An interdisciplinary project in Europe aims to provide an ethical and legal framework for the predictive testing of Alzheimer’s Disease.

According to current estimates, the number of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease worldwide is 40 million — and rising.

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