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ALZHEIMER DISEASE AND GENETICS: ANTICIPATING THE QUESTIONS

Schutte, Debra L. PhD, RN

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: December 2006 - Volume 106 - Issue 12 - p 40–47
Feature

Knowing the research will help nurses aid families.

OVERVIEW: Three genes with autosomal dominant mutations have been identified that may lead to Alzheimer symptoms in carriers before they reach age 60. Genetic tests exist for Alzheimer disease, but they are considered useful only for the small number of families with a history of early-onset illness. As researchers continue to uncover evidence of genetic links to Alzheimer disease, nurses can expect to field questions from family members about genetic testing. The article presents a variety of questions nurses may be asked, as well as possible answers.

Along with new evidence of genetic links to Alzheimer disease will come questions from family members interested in undergoing genetic testing. Have answers at the ready.

Debra L. Schutte is an assistant professor at the University of Iowa College of Nursing, Iowa City.

Contact author: debra-schutte@uiowa.edu.

Schutte was supported in the research discussed in the article by the John A. Hartford Foundation's Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity program, in which she was a postdoctoral fellow from 2002 to 2004.

This article is the 16th in a series that's supported in part by a grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies to the Gerontological Society of America. Nancy A. Stotts, EdD, RN, FAAN (nancy.stotts@nursing.ucsf.edu), a John A. Hartford scholar, and Carole E. Deitrich, MS, GNP, RN (carole.deitrich@nursing.ucsf.edu), are the series editors.

The author of this article has no significant ties, financial or otherwise, to any company that might have an interest in the publication of this educational activity.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.