Would You Want to Know?


If you could see into the future, would you want to know? What if it’s bad news?

 A news story today reveals that researchers have come up with a blood test that can predict Alzheimer’s disease two years before symptoms start to show up. They haven’t figured out a way to prevent the disease, but this could give you a heads up while you still have all your proverbial marbles.

 My husband says he absolutely would want to know. Like the researcher interviewed in the story, he believes the advance information would help with planning. My own theory is that it will give the illusion of control: you can’t control the disease’s advance, but you can at least get your affairs in order with a known deadline.

 But I am not so sure I agree. Would I regard every name that slips from my grasp as another nail in my mental coffin? Would those moments when I can’t remember why I entered a room reduce me to tears rather than a wry writeoff as a “senior moment?”

 Most important, would knowing a grim future rob the present of joy?

 I’m not sure. Would you want to know?