An accurate, timely diagnosis of a nonreversible decline in mental function is crucial to ensure a personalized and data-driven treatment plan is provided to the patient. Early-stage support can help avoid unnecessary struggles and expenses associated with missed treatment opportunities.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for an estimated 60-80% of cases
Vascular dementia, caused by high blood pressure, is the second most common form of dementia
Early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease affects 3-5% of the Alzheimer’s patient population
15% of patients with Parkinson’s have a family history of the disease
The most common form of dementia for people under age 60 is also the most frequently misdiagnosed
Diax Labs offers the Parkinson-Alzheimer-Dementia (PAD) NGS panel, which examines 35 genes associated with an increased risk of developing neurocognitive disorders and detects both the diagnostic and risk factor genes for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson's disease and dementia.
While no single test exists to diagnose dementia, PAD testing is an important component in the diagnostic process. Additionally, PAD testing rules out medical conditions that mimic the memory loss symptoms associated with dementia.
One type of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease is known as autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease, or early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD), which affects approximately 3-5% of all people with Alzheimer’s. What makes this type of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease so unusual is that it is caused by a hereditary genetic mutation to one of three genes: PSEN1, PSEN2 or APP. Genes that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease are APOE, TREM2 and NOTCH3.
As a result of faulty genes being passed to a child by their parents, Parkinson’s disease can run in families. Approximately 15% of people with Parkinson’s have a family history of this disorder. Familial cases of Parkinson disease can be caused by mutations in the LRRK2, PARK7, PINK1, PRKN, MAPT, GBA or SNCA gene.
Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) is the most common form of dementia for people under age 60. It represents a group of brain disorders caused by degeneration of the frontal and/or temporal lobes of the brain. FTD’s estimated prevalence in the United States is around 60,000 cases, and many in the medical community remain unfamiliar with it. FTD is frequently misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s, depression, Parkinson’s disease or a psychiatric condition. On average, it currently takes 3.6 years to get an accurate diagnosis. Up to 40% of patients have a positive family history with a diagnosis of dementia in at least one extra family member. Three major causal genes have been identified: MAPT, GRN and C9ORF72.
Alzheimer’s and the African-American Population
|Alzheimer’s disease is more prevalent among African-Americans than non-Hispanic whites, with statistics ranging from 14-100% greater, making it an emerging health crisis and earning the name “The Silent Epidemic”||African-Americans have historically been diagnosed at a later stage of the disease, ultimately dampening the effectiveness of medications and treatments designed for early intervention||The number of African-Americans entering the age of risk will >double to 6.9 million over the next 3 decades|
Patients at risk for dementia share several common factors:
√ high blood pressure
√ high cholesterol
√ genetic etiology
√ APOE genotype