Earlier this week researchers announced in
the Archives of Neurology that a spinal fluid test can provide an Alzheimer’s
prognosis which is 100% accurate. The reputation of spinal taps is only
marginally better than appendicectomies without anaesthetic, but experts say that they
are safe and not especially painful. In fact, when drugs are developed to slow
or cure Alzheimer’s they foresee that brain scans or spinal taps will be as
routine as colonoscopies or mammograms.
I wonder how ageing baby boomers will react
to this news when they’ve had a chance to absorb it? They are certainly
interested. I noticed that the New York Times report rocketed to the top of the
“most read” articles on its site.
Will people with a positive diagnosis feel
pressured to take an early flight into the Great Beyond before they become too
burdensome for their families? Fanciful? I don’t think so. At the moment, well
over 90% of pregnant women who test positive for Down syndrome terminate their
child. If they fear that life with a disabled child will be purgatory, what
about life with a parent disabled by Alzheimer’s?
Is a new era about to begin? Leave your
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