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Genetics of neurodegenerative diseases for the advanced practice provider

Alexander, Sheila A. PhD, RN, FCCM (Associate Professor)

Section Editor(s): Wysocki, Kenneth PhD, ARNP, FAANP; Seibert, Diane PhD, ARNP, FAAN, FAANP

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners: May 2019 - Volume 31 - Issue 5 - p 282–284
doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000237
Unraveling the Genome

ABSTRACT Neurodegenerative diseases are more common in older individuals and are progressively debilitating. Due to the aging of the American population, the burden of neurodegenerative diseases on the health care infrastructure will likely significantly increase in the near future. Genetic science has advanced our understanding of the pathology driving these diseases thereby informing new, individualized care paradigms. Although translation into clinical practice is slow, there are a few examples of instances where precision medicine is making a difference in the care of patients with neurodegenerative diseases that may be driven by genetic background. This article provides a brief overview of the current knowledge of genetic influences on two common neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer Disease and Parkinson Disease, as well as ways this knowledge is being tested for a precision medicine approach to care.

Acute & Tertiary Care, School of Nursing, Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Correspondence: Sheila A. Alexander, PhD, RN, FCCM, 336, Victoria Building 3500 Victoria Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261. Tel: 412-624-3831; 412-735-1783; Fax: 412-383-7227; E-mail:

Competing interests: The author reports no conflicts of interest.

Received February 27, 2019

Received in revised form March 29, 2019

Accepted April 06, 2019

© 2019 American Association of Nurse Practitioners
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