Local Doctors Discuss Alzheimer's Genetic Testing

Posted at 10:26 AM, Jul 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-14 13:36:18-04

CLAIREMONT, Calif., (KGTV) — Alzheimer’s San Diego held a meeting Thursday discussing the cost and benefits of Alzheimer’s genetic testing. 

“I’m a mom of three young kids, and I want that information,” said Michele Hanneman. “Knowing what my family had to go through to take care of my mom, I want to make sure my family is prepared."

Hanneman said her mother, Ann Quinn was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer at 50-years old. She battled the disease for 15 years.

“She started to forget how to do her crossword puzzles, and it was a red flag something was going on with her,” said Hanneman. 

Currently, there are DNA tests in place that allows for people to test and identify genetic risk factors for the disease. But some doctor’s warn, it may not be for everyone.

“What if you find out you’re at risk and it disables you, and it creates anxiety,” said Dr. William Mobley, Associate Dean at UC San Diego Department of Neuroscience. 

Dr. Mobley said there are pros and cons. He said, for some, that information is important. 

"To become more aware of it, to change your lifestyle, to prepare for it,” said Dr. Mobley.

Hanneman said she’d be interested in the testing so she can prepare her family. 

“We didn’t know what it was early on with my mom and it was so confusing, I don’t want my family to go through that same type of confusion,” said Hanneman.

For those interested in testing for the disease, talk to your doctor. 

Alzheimer's San Diego is a local and independent nonprofit, not affiliated with a national organization or association.