The Doctors: Alzheimers Test: Spinal Tap or Spinal Fluid Test

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The Doctors TV Show today was on the topic of “What Tests Do I Need” and a lady asked if there is a test that she can get to see if she is at risk for getting Alzheimer’s Disease since her grandmother has the disease.  Alzheimer’s Disease is a condition that older people get that involves dementia from plaque in the brain that causes memory deficits.  The Drs TV Show said that there was a study that showed that a Spinal Fluid Test can detect abnormal proteins up to 10 years before a person gets Alzheimer’s Disease. The Doctors Spinal Fluid Test for Alzheimers Disease

The Drs: Alzheimer’s Disease Test

The real question is would you want to know if you are at risk for getting Alzheimer’s Disease, since you know that there is not a real cure available for it? The Doctors had differing opinions on this topic.  For example, there are certain medications that you could take to slow down the process of Alzheimer’s Disease like Namenda, so I personally would want to know and would be willing to go through the Spinal Fluid Test.  A Spinal Tap test is done by drawing fluid from your lower back and sending it for a test.  Frankly, a Lumbar Puncture test is not even so bad and many of us would be willing to go through even more invasive tests.  Brain damage can occur in Alzheimer’s Disease for 10 years before you see any symptoms, so even though we cannot yet cure Alzheimer’s, we can help protect the brain from damage.  Dr Travis Stork said that there is no great evidence that anything we are doing is actually helping with Alzheimer’s Disease though.  The good news is that universities and the government are working together to try to find a cure for Alzheimers, so hopefully in the not too distant future we will have an Alzheimer’s Disease Cure!

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