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Anticipating response to predictive genetic testing for Alzheimer's disease: a survey of first-degree relatives



Anticipating response to predictive genetic testing for Alzheimer's disease: a survey of first-degree relatives



Gerontologist 40(1): 43-52



Two hundred and three children and siblings of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) (age range: 30-92 years, 75% female) were surveyed regarding potential predictive testing options for the disorder. A mailed questionnaire posed various hypothetical scenarios and assessed the following variables: interest in testing, perceptions of its pros and cons, and psychological and demographic predictors of test intentions. In 5 of 6 scenarios, a majority of participants expressed intentions to pursue testing, with perceived pros outweighing cons. The most important reasons for seeking testing were informing later-life decisions and planning future AD care. Predictors of test intentions were male gender, information-seeking style, higher perceived AD threat, and appraisal of test pros versus cons. Situational factors such as available treatment options and certainty of test information also affected responses. Results suggest a positive view of predictive testing, with its limitations and risks underrated. Study findings may inform AD genetic counseling and health education efforts.

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Accession: 045274117

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PMID: 10750312


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