By Danny Yarnall
Imagine sitting in your car, engine idling in the parking lot of your doctor’s office, where she just finished explaining that you have “elevated” amyloid, a biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease.
You haven’t noticed any memory problems, but she did say that this meant an increased but uncertain risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
How would you react to this information?
Newly published research from the Penn Program on Precision Medicine for the Brain (P3MB) pulls back the curtain on what research participants thought, felt, and did after a similar scenario. Authors included Emily Largent, RN, JD, PhD; Kirstin Harkins, MPH; and Jason Karlawish, MD.
“As the science of Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers evolves, we would expect that biomarker testing will become increasingly widespread among people who are cognitively unimpaired,” said lead author Dr. Largent. “In anticipation of more widespread testing, it’s important to gather evidence to inform how clinicians talk to patients about biomarker results and to prepare patients for what they might expect.”