I was still in my jammies one morning in September when I received a chirpy "Your 23andMe Results Are Ready!" email from the Mountain View personal genetic testing company. A couple of clicks and password led me to a chart showing health risks identified by the spit test I'd sent in. Scanning quickly, I saw that I had more than three times the risk of developing celiac disease. No surprise there, as my daughter has it and I already knew I'd given her the gene. The report said I'm also at risk for other autoimmune diseases. I knew that too.
What set my heart racing was the Alzheimer's Disease risk line. Did I really want to see that result? 23andMe asked.
Huh. My husband didn't get that prompt.
Did I? Why, Pandora, I asked myself, would you have paid $99 if you did not want to open the box? I know you'd hoped to find out you didn't have an Alzheimer's gene. Now what are you going to do?
Of course I kept going. The next page looked like a terms-of-service agreement, and I read it just about as carefully before agreeing. Turns out I do have one copy of the APOE4 variant, which is "associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's."