If Parkinson's disease (PD) runs in your family and you want to get genetically tested, consult with a genetic counselor first. Discuss your reasons for being tested and the impact it may have on you and your family.
Genetic testing helps estimate the risk of developing Parkinson's, but is not a diagnosis and cannot provide a timeline for the possibility of developing the disease. A genetic counselor can discuss and interpret test results and related issues, while providing emotional support.
There are commercial companies that offer genetic testing for Parkinson's disease. However, if you suspect you or a loved one has Parkinson's, consult with a neurologist and a genetic specialist before proceeding with genetic testing.
Genetic counseling sets the Parkinson's Foundation Genetics Initiative apart — it is a crucial study that is the first to offer free genetic testing plus counseling for PD-related genes through a movement disorder specialist. Find a Center of Excellence to learn more about how to enroll.