New approaches to genetic counseling and testing for Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal degeneration

Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2012 Oct;12(5):502-10. doi: 10.1007/s11910-012-0296-1.


The discovery of new autosomal dominant and susceptibility genes for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) is revealing important new information about the neurodegenerative process and the risk for acquiring these diseases. It is becoming increasingly clear that both the mechanisms that drive these diseases and their phenotypes overlap. New technologies will assist access to genetic testing but may increase difficulty with genetic test interpretation. Thus, the process of genetic counseling and testing for these diseases is becoming more complex. This article will review current knowledge on the genetics of AD and FTD and suggest clinical guidelines for helping families to navigate through these complexities. The implications of future discoveries will be offered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism
  • Frontal Lobe / pathology*
  • Genetic Counseling* / methods
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genetic Testing* / methods
  • Humans
  • Temporal Lobe / metabolism
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology*