, 5:43,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 06 Sep 2013

Would you want to know? Public attitudes on early diagnostic testing for Alzheimer's disease

Abstract

Introduction

Research is underway to develop an early medical test for Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Methods

To evaluate potential demand for such a test, we conducted a cross-sectional telephone survey of 2,678 randomly selected adults across the United States and four European countries.

Results

Most surveyed adults (67%) reported that they are "somewhat" or "very likely" to get an early medical test if one becomes available in the future. Interest was higher among those worried about developing AD, those with an immediate blood relative with AD, and those who have served as caregivers for AD patients. Older respondents and those living in Spain and Poland also exhibited greater interest in testing. Knowing AD is a fatal condition did not influence demand for testing, except among those with an immediate blood relative with the disease.

Conclusions

Potential demand for early medical testing for AD could be high. A predictive test could not only advance medical research, it could transform political and legal landscapes by creating a large constituency of asymptomatic, diagnosed adults.