Researchers in Italy believe they have found a simple blood test which can predict whether early moments of forgetfulness will turn into Alzheimer’s disease. It is based on detecting levels of free copper in the blood. The study found that people with high levels of free copper have a 50% chance of developing Alzheimer’s within four years.
This is all too late for the 800,000 dementia sufferers already living in Britain.
But could it help, hassle or horrify every other older person, who has a moment of forgetfulness:-
“Where did I put my car keys?”
“Which pocket did I leave my phone in?”
“What day is it today?”
“What did I go upstairs to get?”
Who hasn’t asked one of these questions from time to time?
The blood test won’t give you the answer but it may pose a lot more questions:-
“What is free copper?”
“Can I reduce it?”
“Can I avoid it altogether?”
“If I have a 50% probability of Alzheimer’s how do I prepare for the future?”:-
- Blow all my money in the next four years?
- Say goodbye to all my family and friends before I forget who they are?
- Sell my house and move into residential care while I can still make my own decision?
- Label everything in anticipation of the forgetful years to come?
- Go off to Dignitas straight away or leave it for a while?
Or do none of the above, stop worrying and:-
- Know that I will find my phone and car keys eventually.
- If the day of the week is important, now I am retired, I can look at the top of the newspaper.
- An whatever it was I went upstairs for, can’t be that important if I have forgotten it so quickly.
Oh, and there is at least 50% chance I have not got dementia!