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Peace of Mind

When one woman whose family had a history of early onset Alzheimer's disease and her husband had trouble conceiving, they turned to fertility treatments, but the woman, herself a physician, was ambivalent about pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, the Wall Street Journal writes.

But she was swayed, it adds, when she learned about a nondisclosure option in which she wouldn't learn her risk of Alzheimer's while ensuring that her children didn't have the familial variant.

The lab, Reproductive Genetic Innovations, gathered a blood sample from the patient and cheek swabs from her parents to develop a panel of genetic markers against which they screened the couple's fertilized eggs. The patient, the Journal says, was never told if she carried the presenilin 1 gene mutation linked to Alzheimer's, nor how many of the fertilized eggs did.

Such nondisclosure PGD, the Journal adds, is rare, but increasing in demand, especially for conditions for which there is no treatment. When patients know something can be done, it notes, they generally want all information possible.

For herself, this patient has a fatalistic attitude: she'll develop the disease if she develops it. But for her 20-month-old twins, "[t]o know that they don't have that daily worry [about developing Alzheimer's], it's priceless," she says.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.