Rocky Mountain Health Advocates

Neurological Screening

Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Dementia are conditions that affect the brain and spinal cord. They can cause serious complications, such as difficulty moving or experiencing involuntary movements (i.e. tremors), memory loss, and disruption of mental abilities (solving problems, controlling emotions, or chewing and swallowing).

Symptoms of these conditions typically begin after the age of 60, however, in some families’ symptoms can occur as early as the third decade of life, or 30 years of age. Research has shown that these diseases can sometimes be caused by abnormal changes in our genes, and these changes can be inherited and passed down in families. Having a family history of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or a similar condition may increase your risk of having that condition.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or Dementia; however, there are treatments available to provide temporary relief from symptoms. Surgery, such as deep brain stimulation, may also be considered. Screening may identify individuals at increased risk and assist in the planning and decision-making process for treatment, psychosocial counseling, and support programs for caregivers and patients. 

The Parkinson Disease Comprehensive Panel examines 26 genes associated with an increased risk of developing the neurodegenerative condition: Parkinson’s Disease. 

Who is screening for? 

Individuals with a personal and/or family history of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson Disease is characterized by progressive movement and balance issues. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease. Warning signs include but are not limited to involuntary shaking of the hands, legs, jaw or tongue (tremors), slow movement (bradykinesia), stiff limbs (rigidity), or gait (walking) and balance problems. 

 

What are the potential benefits? 

Individuals identified with a disease-causing change (a pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant) in a gene on this panel have an increased risk of developing the associated neurodegenerative disease. A neurological screening may be beneficial in the planning and decision-making process for treatment, psychosocial counseling, research study enrollment, and support programs for caregivers and patients.  An individuals’ family members can also be screened to help define their risk. If a pathogenic variant is identified, close relatives (children, siblings, and parents) are up to 50% more likely to also be at increased risk. 

Alzheimer-Dementia Screening

The Alzheimer-Dementia Panel examines 16 genes associated with an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative conditions: Alzheimer’s disease and genetic disorders that cause dementia. This analysis also includes an examination of C9orf72 repeat expansions by repeat-primed PCR (rpPCR) 

Who is Screening for? 

Individuals with a personal and/or family history of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Warning signs of these diseases include, but are not limited to abnormal imaging of the brain, difficultly moving or controlling one’s movement, memory loss that interferes with daily life, changes in mood and personality, difficulty having a conversation or completing familiar tasks, and confusion with the time or place. 

Schedule an Appointment

Appointments are strongly encouraged and will receive priority. Walk-ins may be accommodated during the next available appointment opening, but cannot be guaranteed service.