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The Alzheimer ConundrumEntanglements of Dementia and Aging$
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Margaret Lock

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149783

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149783.001.0001

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Living with Embodied Omens

Living with Embodied Omens

(p.174) Chapter 7 Living with Embodied Omens
The Alzheimer Conundrum

Margaret Lock

Princeton University Press

This chapter begins with a brief consideration of the anthropological literature on divination. This is followed by a condensed discussion composed primarily of ethnographic research findings about the responses of individuals and their families to genetic testing for single gene disorders such as Huntington disease and to genetic testing for breast cancer. Throughout the analysis, the concepts of genetic body, geneticization, and biosociality are introduced. The chapter also presents an account of a National Institutes of Health randomized trial carried out with individuals whose families have one or more members diagnosed with Alzheimer disease (AD), and who have undergone genotyping for the susceptibility gene APOE. The findings in this account represent the first extensive analysis of the responses of individuals undergoing testing for a susceptibility gene.

Keywords:   divination, ethnographic research, genetic testing, Huntington disease, breast cancer, geneticization, biosociality

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