Thursday, July 15, 2010

New research on diagnosing Alzheimers published, hightening privacy concerns

Medical researchers at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease 2010 (AAICAD 2010) are presenting reports based on the collaborative work of the National Institute of Aging and of the Alzheimer’s Association in Hawaii this week.

Included are changes in diagnostic criteria (originally defined back in 1984) able to diagnose precursors to Alzheimers in early stages, as well as genetic information related to the appearance of Alzheimer’s at various ages, especially after age 65.

Concerns exists that genetic or other imaging tests could be used to deny health insurance or particularly long term care insurance. Provisions in the recent health care reform law urged by the Obama administration may not completely address long term care concerns. The information could also be misused for employment discrimination.

Families could use the information in anticipating the likelihood for the need for future care, as to the effect on adult children or on plans to remain at home or possibly to downsize and live in retirement communities where help is more readily available if needed.

The link for the story is here.

Update: July 17

The New York Times, in the series "The Vanishing Mind" has a story by Gina Kolata "Drug Trials Test Bold Plan to Slow Alzheimer’s", link here.

No comments: