Understand More about Neurological Disorders

Being diagnosed with a hereditary condition can be scary. That’s why early detection is so important and can make all the difference in the world when it comes to getting in front of a disease.

Know The Basics

Types of Genomic Testing

what is a neurological disorder?

A neurological disorder is any medical problem that affects the nervous system. Your body’s nervous system includes your brain, spinal cord, and other nerves. Problems with the structure or function of any part of the nervous system can lead to a neurological disorder.

what are symptoms of a neurological disorder?

Symptoms of a neurological disorder can be mild, such as muscle weakness, poor coordination, or changes in thinking patterns. Symptoms can also be more noticeable, such as seizures, pain, and intellectual disability. People with a neurological disorder can have just one or many of these symptoms.

causes for neurological disorders

There are many causes for neurological disorders, including infections, injuries, and environmental factors such as poor nutrition or exposure to heavy metals like lead. Gene changes can also cause neurological disorders. A change in a gene can change the instructions to our brain, spinal cord and other nerves, which could result in a neurological disorder.

Most neurological disorders that are caused by gene changes will begin affecting a person early in life, usually in childhood and sometimes even as early as birth. However, some neurological disorders caused by gene changes don’t affect a person until later in life. Any signs or symptoms may not be obvious until well into adulthood.

Genetic testing can be helpful in identifying the cause of the neurological disorder in many different situations.

What are the Benefits of Genetic Testing?

For You:

Your healthcare provider can give you better information about what to expect based on your genetic test results.

  • Examples of what to expect can be worsening of current symptoms or screening tests that can find new symptoms as early as possible

Your healthcare provider may discuss possible treatment options, such as specific medications or other interventions, based on your genetic test results.

  • Examples are using a medical dietary therapy or certain types of anti-seizure medications

Your doctor can discuss the possibility of your genetic test results helping you to avoid other, potentially invasive, testing.

can neurological disorders run in families?

Many people with a neurological disorder are the first person in their family to have it. Often, genetic testing can find a gene mutation for someone with a neurological disorder that is not found in other family members and was not passed down from a parent. This is called a de novo, or new, gene mutation in a family.


In other families, gene changes that cause neurological disorders can be inherited from earlier generations. Your doctor or genetic counselor can talk with you more about the inheritance pattern of the neurological disorder in your family.

Possible Genetic Test Results


A mutation was found in at least one of the genes tested

There may be management recommendations specific to the gene that has a mutation

Genetic testing for certain family members may be recommended


No genetic changes were found in any of the genes tested

Management recommendations are based on personal and family history

Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if genetic testing should be considered for your family members

variant of unknown significance (vus)

At least one genetic change was found, but it is unclear if this change causes the neurological disorder or not

Management recommendations are based on personal and family history

Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if genetic testing should be considered for your family members

It is possible to have a combination of positive and VUS results, since multiple genes are tested.

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