“Credit … Amanda Lucier for The New York Times
by Gina Kolata
“Not long ago, the only way to know if someone had Alzheimer’s disease was to examine the brain in an autopsy.
“That is changing — and fast — with brain scans and spinal taps that can detect beta amyloid, the telltale Alzheimer’s protein.
“There is a blood test on the horizon that can detect beta amyloid, and researchers are experimenting with scans to look for another protein, called tau, also characteristic of Alzheimer’s.
“As this sort of diagnostic testing becomes widespread, more people who fear their memories are slipping will face a difficult question: Would I really want to know if I were getting Alzheimer’s disease?”