Introduction: We describe the 5 year experience of a genetic counselling program for familial dementias (the PICOGEN program). Methods: The neurologist selected the candidates for genetic testing in the screening visit based on family history and phenotype (Alzheimer disease-AD, frontotemporal lobar degeneration-FTLD, or prion disease). Asymptomatic subjects who decided to know their genetic status were evaluated within a structured protocol by the psychiatrist and psychologist prior to entering the program and followed up afterwards. Results: A total of 87 patients from 72 families were candidates for the genetic study, 20 of the 72 families had a family history of autosomal dominant early-onset dementia (ADEOD). A pathogenic mutation was found in 22 patients (8 PSEN1, 1 PSEN2, 1 APP, 4 MAPT, 8 PRNP), 5 of which had not been previously described. All positive cases, except for 1 PSEN1 (12.5%) and 4 PRNP (50%) showed ADEOD. In 3 ADEOD cases (15%) no pathogenic mutation was found. After individual genetic counselling, 24/54 asymptomatic subjects at risk decided to have the pre-symptomatic study, of whom 10 (42%) were carriers of the pathogenic mutation. In the follow up, no major psychiatric complication was observed. Conclusions: In our series, family history of ADEOD was a sensitive criterion for the detection of pathogenic mutations in AD and FTLD but not in prion diseases. No genetic anomalies were detected in 15% of the ADEOD cases using conventional diagnostic procedures, and 43% of pre-symptomatic subjects at risk who received individual genetic counselling decided to have the study. The pre-symptomatic diagnosis proved to be safe under these conditions. © 2009 Sociedad Española de Neurología.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2011|
- Alzheimer disease
- Familial dementia
- Frontotemporal lobar degeneration
- Genetic counselling
- Genetic screening
- Prion diseases