department of neurology  
  neurology  
  Address: The Neurological Institute of New York, 710 West 168th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10032  
 
 
 

MOVEMENT DISORDERS & FAMILY HISTORY



Many movement disorders seem to run in families. Why this is true is the subject of intense debate and research. There are all sorts of explanations. In some cases, there is one gene that causes the disorder, if the person who carries the gene lives long enough, that person will definitely get the disorder. In some cases, there is one gene that causes the disorder but, even if the person who carries the gene lives to old age, that person may or may not get the disorder. In some disorders, several genes have been identified in several families that cause similar signs and symptoms. In some cases, there is no known specific disease-causing gene, but there is "linkage" or association that has been made with a specific region of the human genome although we are not certain that the associated gene actually causes the disorder. For yet other disorders, there may be a "susceptibility gene" that along with a specific environmental trigger causes a specific disorder. In some cases, two family members who shared the same environment growing up get the same movement disorder. Is that environmental? Or, could the cause be genetic? That's a very important question to answer.

It is common practice for a neurologist to ask an individual with symptoms of a neurological condition whether other family members are also affected with the same or related symptoms. It is therefore useful to know or investigate family history of disease including symptoms, ages of onset, causes and ages of death in family members including siblings, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and first cousins. Such knowledge may provide the key to a diagnosis. If a pattern of symptoms or a family history suggests a genetic disease, a referral for genetic counseling and testing may be required.

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Copyright © 2004 The Neurological Institute of New York || Columbia University Medical Center || Division of Movement Disorders
Affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital
710 W 168th St, New York, NY 10032
Last updated: July 17, 2013
 

ABOUT US:

- MISSION STATEMENT
- OUR DOCTORS
- CONTACT & DIRECTIONS
PATIENT INFORMATION:

- OUR DOCTORS
- CLINICAL CARE
- WHAT ARE MOVEMENT DIORDERS?
- CLINICAL RESEARCH STUDIES
- CLINICAL MOTOR PHYSIOLOGY LABORATORY
- MOVEMENT DISORDERS & FAMILY HISTORY
- MOVEMENT DISORDERS SURGERY CENTER
- BRAIN BANK
- CONTACT & DIRECTIONS

EDUCATION:

- MOVEMENT DISORDERS FELLOWSHIP
- FORMER AND CURRENT FELLOWS
RESEARCH:

- BASIC SCIENCE RESEARCH
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- CLINICAL RESEARCH STUDIES
- GENETIC RESEARCH