Telling patients they have genetic markers for Alzheimer’s damages memory test performance

A recent article in the American Journal of Psychiatry has examined the effects of informing patients of genetic predispositions to disease on their subsequent cognitive performance. The authors of the article, from the University of Indiana and UC San Diego, found that respondents who were informed of a disposition to Alzheimer’s performed worse on memory tests and had reduced confidence in the current power of their memory.

In the study, which involved almost 150 participants, some of the patients were given the results of genetic test for Alzheimer’s predisposition, whilst others were tested but not told of their results.

The researchers found that those participants who were informed of their predisposition to Alzheimer’s performed far worse on the tests for objective and subjective memory.

Read the full, original story: The dilemma of whether to release genetic information

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