Genetic Testing Specialist

Shankle Clinic

Neurology Specialists located in Newport Beach, CA

It has been nearly two decades since genetic experts started to map the human genome. While the field is still in its infancy, genetic testing can now reveal precise mutations that accurately diagnose or predict the risk of neurological conditions. William Shankle, MS, MD, FACP, and the team at Shankle Clinic in Newport Beach, California, offer genetic testing to verify your diagnosis and determine the optimal treatment for the unique genetic profile of your neurologic condition. To learn more about genetic testing, call the office or schedule an appointment online.

Genetic Testing Q & A

How do neurologists use genetic testing?

Many people are familiar with genetic testing to determine if they carry genes that might pass a disease to their children. However, genetic testing does much more than predict an inherited disease.

Genetic testing can:

  • Diagnose an existing disease
  • Identify specific gene changes responsible for a disease
  • Reveal the severity of a disease
  • Determine your risk of developing a disease
  • Guide decisions about the best treatment for your neurological condition
  • Guide decisions about the medications and dosages that fit your metabolism

While genes are still being discovered, and genetic testing is still evolving, neurology experts have focused on finding gene mutations shared by patients diagnosed with the same condition. 

They have now identified enough specific gene mutations that genetic testing can reveal accurate information about some neurological conditions.

Which neurological conditions benefit from neurological testing?

Genetic testing is currently available for common and rare neurological disorders such as:

  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
  • Dementia
  • Dystonia
  • Spastic paraplegia
  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Leukodystrophy

Genetic testing can be done using several techniques. The lab may look for a specific gene or a group of several genes, or they can examine all the genes in a specific portion of your DNA.

What should I expect during genetic testing?

Before you decide to have genetic testing, your provider at Shankle Clinic talks with you about the benefits, risks, and the type of information you may receive. If you want genetic testing to determine your chance of developing a neurological disease, it’s important to know that some genetic tests are highly predictive, while others aren’t.

If you decide to go ahead with the test, your provider obtains a sample of your blood or saliva, depending on the type of test, and sends it to a lab that specializes in genetic testing.

At the lab, experts extract your DNA and run the test requested by your provider at Shankle Clinic. Once your test results are back, you sit down with your provider and learn what they mean for your diagnosis and treatment.

To learn if you’re a good candidate for genetic testing, call Shankle Clinic or schedule an appointment online.