Genetic studies look for associations between DNA and confirmed diagnoses. Other studies look for correlations between clinical records (symptoms before death) and pathological details (confirmed disease).
Neurological diseases are often diagnosed incorrectly. In fact, up to 50% of atypical parkinsonian disorders are incorrectly diagnosed, even by neurologists. Only brain autopsies can deliver a diagnosis that is certain to be correct.
Only brain autopsies can deliver a certain diagnosis. Because symptoms of many neurological diseases overlap, clinical assessment is often incorrect, even when the diagnosis is delivered by an experienced neurologist.
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Advance planning for brain donation greatly improves the chances of success. Since the tissue must be procured within 24 hours of a loved one's passing, it's best if the arrangements are figured out before grief and stress over take the family.
The Brain Support Network team regularly reviews resources made available by research organizations and disease interest groups. Most of these resources are available on the Web. See our lists of top resources for each disorder.
Caregiving, especially for loved ones with neurological disorders, is never easy. Join us every six weeks in San Mateo for our caregiver-only support group meetings. The meetings are suitable for caregivers dealing with one of the four atypical parkinsonism disorders.