Dementia refers to a decline in more than one brain function that interferes with daily life. While memory loss is a common symptom, others include difficulty with problem solving, controlling emotions, personality changes, agitation and possibly hallucinations.Dementia is common among the elderly, affecting about 7% of people age 65 or older, but it is not a normal part of aging. 

Testing for Genetic and Immunologic Causes of Dementia

Causes of dementia include:
  • Stroke
  • Brain trauma or injury
  • Medication
  • Genetic causes
  • Immunologic causes
Early diagnosis can make a valuable difference not only to the patient, but to their family members and caregivers. Athena Diagnostics offers CSF protein testing for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease itself, genetic causes of Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and autoimmune causes of dementia.
Our Alzheimer’s Evaluation correlates levels of Phosphorylated Tau protein, Total Tau protein and AΒ42 peptide in CSF which determine the likelihood that individuals without dementia will develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or very mild dementia of the Alzheimer’s type, and with studies showing that biomarkers predict progression from MCI to Alzheimer’s (Snider et al.)
Our genetic tests are offered individually and organized into panels based on clinical presentation. The ADmark Early Onset Alzheimer’s Panel encompasses three genes which can detect 45-90% of cases of Early Onset Alzheimer’s. (Tanzi and Bertram.) Testing for the Apo E genotype is available due to the well documented association with late onset Alzheimer’s disease, but does not predict the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease. (Khachaturian et al.)
The Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) panels were designed based on comprehensive peer reviewed publications (Rohrer et al. and Van Langenhove et al.) with three genes chosen based on age of onset and inheritance, which can detect up to 30% of cases with FTD.
The Autoimmune Rapidly Progressive Dementia (ARPD) panel tests for antibodies associated with reversible immune causes of dementia. Rapidly progressive dementias are less than two ears in duration and progress more rapidly than Alzheimer’s or other dementias (Geschwind et al.)

Medical Affairs Resources

Athena Diagnostics Client Services - (800) 394-4493 Option 2

Athena Diagnostics Genetic Counselors -

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Athena Diagnostics knows that dementia can be challenging to manage. We are committed to providing quality testing to find the cause of you or your loved one’s dementia.

Athena Alliance Program

We offer the Athena Alliance Program to make testing accessible and affordable. Learn more about the program here.

Advocacy Groups

Alzheimer's Association
Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR)
Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD)
The Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia

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