“The Fortune Teller” by Kenneth S. Kosik Sample Essay

Kenneth S. Kosik is a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and an attending doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. where he was a cofounder of the Memory Disorders Clinic. In October of 1992. he was introduced to neurologist Francisco Lopera. Lopera had tracked 12 interconnected households populating in Columbia. all agony from a cryptic early-onset signifier of dementedness. Kosik agreed to help Lopera in a hunt for the cistron mutant responsible for what they were to happen was a rare from of Alzheimer’s. As they do their research this disease. Kosik finds himself in a place where he is able to state if person will decease of this disease. with a simple blood trial done at any age. Forced to make up one’s mind whether or non people should hold this information. Kosik asks himself “Will cognition of their fate bring comfort. or merely more sorrow? ”

Because of spiritual beliefs and cultural traditions. Kosik found it hard to happen a asleep person to analyze. The lone manner to name Alzheimer’s definitively is to make a microscopic survey of encephalon tissue. They were eventually able to acquire their tissue sample. nevertheless. and proved that the disease was. in fact. Alzheimer’s.

This signifier of Alzheimer’s. the sort that strikes the immature. leaves the same marks in the encephalon as the more common assortment: baffling bunchs of beta-amyloid. a type of protein. Kosik’s hope is that an apprehension of this rare signifier of the disease will take to a intervention or remedy for the common 1. A hunt for the cistron at mistake was begun.

Shortly before the cistron was located. a meeting between the research workers and the affected households was held. The households were so cognizant of the tendency in their households. but for the most portion could non grok how the disease was inherited by some. and non all. The meeting did set to rest several superstitious notions of the disease. though. ( Touching a peculiar type of tree was believed to give you the disease. )

After the find of the cistron responsible. it was possible. from a simple blood trial. to find if an person would develop the disease. Having the cistron meant two things: 1. you could go through it on to your kids. 2. you would perfectly acquire the disease. unless you died from other causes beforehand. When Kosik asked one household if they would wish to cognize if they carried the cistron or non. understanding that there was no remedy or intervention. everyone who was asked said they wanted to cognize. One immature adult male besides said that if he had the cistron. he would hit himself.

Kosik and Lopera have decided that because of the deficiency of reding plans available. the cistron trial will be given for research purposes merely. and that even so the consequences will no be given to the individual tested. Kosik is slightly uncomfortable with this determination because he feels that the cognition of being a bearer would deter reproduction. and therefore lower the future incidences of the disease. but seems to non be able to do himself state person how they are traveling to decease.

Kosik stood at the point where one twenty-four hours. we all may stand. Someday. we will probably all have the ability to larn of our familial make-up. Kosik points out that cognition of this familial make-up will hold profound impacts on our lives. He says “We base poised to be expelled from an Eden of familial ignorance into a society where every endowment and failing. every furrow and lentigo may be predicted from our genomes. ” He besides warns of familial favoritism. and even goes every bit far as to propose that “… the cognition of our familial fate will rob us foremost of chance. and subsequently of all hope. ”


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