Do you have a family history of ALS?
If one of your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins have had ALS then you know exactly how this dreadful disease can impact a family. Learning about a loved one being diagnosed with ALS is a difficult thing. A ALS diagnoses impacts the entire family and their lives are forever changed. After the shock wears off, many people wonder if they could also get ALS. That’s a reasonable response especially if the family member was close (parent/sibling.) Although there is not definitive answer you can find out if you have the genetic mutation. That’s a serious and tough decision to make. You should ask yourself many questions before you get genetic testing. Some of the questions I considered before getting tested included:
Would this change how I lived?
How would it change how I live?
If I test positive for a genetic mutation do I have the support system to help me accept and cope with the results?
What does testing positive for a mutated gene really mean for me?
Seeking counseling, specifically a genetic counselor, is a great idea. To learn more about this check out this video by the ALS Association. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpmXkfGrZfA&feature=youtu.be
If you have a family member with ALS have you considered genetic testing? Have you been tested? What was the process like? Would you recommend genetic testing for family members of a pALS?
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