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Is it possible to determine if a dementia patient has Alzheimer’s disease using a simple blood test? The answer, according to scientists and researchers, is a surprising “yes!” While not yet available to the public, a newly-developed blood test could make some Alzheimer’s diagnoses fast, more affordable, and more available in the next two to three years.
The test not only identifies whether dementia patients are suffering from Alzheimer’s, it also reportedly identified signs of the disease some 20 years sooner than patients with a certain genetic mutation that causes Alzheimer’s would be expected to start showing memory losses or experience difficulty thinking clearly. There is also speculation that this could lead to a related blood test in the future which could diagnose future Alzheimer’s in someone without symptoms or a genetic disposition to the disease.
To be clear, the test is not a cure or a treatment for Alzheimer’s. But, by being able to provide early diagnoses, there is hope that treatments could be started sooner to either halt or slow the progression of the disease.
From an estate planning standpoint, it makes sense to plan for all types of eventualities – including becoming mentally incapacitated by Alzheimer’s or dementia. Planning ahead by creating a health care directive, power of attorney, and a living Trust allows you to exercise some control over an uncertain future.
A health care directive lets you name one or more trusted family members or friends who could speak for you if you were unable to advocate for your own medical care, and carry out your wishes. A power of attorney and living Trust can be used to give a trusted person or professional fiduciary the right to manage your financial affairs if you are alive but are unable to do so yourself.
To learn more about estate planning and to schedule a consultation, contact us today!