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The purpose these studies is to better understand the genetic basis for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Knowledge gained from genetic research studies is important for the development of improved diagnostic tests and new therapies.

Participation in a genetic research study typically involves a one-time visit with a genetic counselor. During the visit, the genetic counselor will collect family history information and a blood sample. The blood sample is used in the research laboratory to study an individual's DNA for genes that could potentially either cause disease or influence an individual's risk for disease.

The University of Pennsylvania has several genetic research studies available for interested patients and their families. Individuals with a clinical diagnosis of any of the following conditions are currently eligible to participate:

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD)
  • Dementia with Lewy Bodies
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease)

    For more information about genetic research studies, please contact Beth Wood at mccarty@mail.med.upenn.edu or by telephone at (215) 662-6014.

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