Genetic testing has been in the news lately because the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved the company 23andMe to sell genetic tests for 10 different diseases, one of which is late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. While we support advances in diagnosis, it’s important to pursue such tests cautiously in conjunction with your physician. Here is a link to the Association’s full statement regarding genetic testing.
There are at least a couple types of genetic testing — one in particular is a free anonymous test that helps contribute to data gathering for clinical trials while 23andMe is a genetic test for which you pay.
The Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry provides a saliva swab kit to test for the primary gene related to Alzheimer’s disease, which is the APOE4 gene. However, the results of the swab test do NOT get shared with the person, but instead go into a clinical trial database which occasionally matches the person with clinical research studies. It is during some of those studies that a person could learn the results of the saliva swab test. Here is link to learn more. The kit is FREE and it can all be handled via mail.
FDA approved genetic testing – The 23andMe test costs about $200. Below is a press release from FDA and a link to 23andME.