How learning your genetic risk can transform you....

The American Journal of Psychiatry reports two remarkable findings: After cognitively normal older adults learns they have the ε4 allele of the APOE gene that increases risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease dementia, they perform worse on measures of subjective and objective cognition compared to older adults who have this genotype but do not know their genotype. Conversely, those that learn they do not carry an ε4 allele perform better on measures of subjective cognition compared to ε4 negative individuals who do not know they are ε4 negative. 

In an accompanying editorial -- "Minding the aging brain? Are we ready for personalized medicine?" -- Jason Karlawish and Robert Green write that as psychiatry and neurology leap into the era of personalized medicine, the results of studies like this one show that we must also examine how this new model of medicine and medical care will impact on the health and well-being of our patients. They also show how cognitive impairment in aging is not simply the result of brain lesions, but a disruption in the homeostasis between the individual, her brain, and the world she lives in, or, in a word, a disruption of the mind.

You can read more about the study at Medscape