Would you take a test that could predict your risk of Alzheimer’s disease?

Two hands clasped together.
A nurse holds the hands of a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease on September 21, 2009 at a retirement home in France.
Sebastien Bozon | AFP via Getty Images

You probably know someone living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. More than 5.8 million Americans have the disease, and 1 out of every 3 seniors has Alzheimer’s or dementia at death.

Researchers are fast developing ways to diagnose the illness years before symptoms start: blood tests, retinal scans, brain scans. But if a reliable test was put on the market, would you take it? How much information about your medical future would you want, especially when it comes to a disease that currently has no cure? Wednesday on MPR News with Kerri Miller, we spoke with an Alzheimer’s researcher and a psychologist specializing in dementia issues about the moral dilemmas raised by medical developments.


  • Dr. Peter Rabins, professor emeritus of psychiatry and medicine at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, author of the best-selling “The 36-Hour Day” and the upcoming “Is It Alzheimer’s?”

  • Shana Stites, clinical psychologist and researcher with the Penn Project on Precision Medicine for the Brain

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS

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