WORCESTER, Mass. and MADISON, N.J., March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Athena Diagnostics, a leader in neurological diagnostics, today announced the clinical availability of new genetic tests to aid the detection of several rare neurological disorders, including hereditary neuropathy, neuromuscular disease, epilepsy and certain movement disorders. The lab-developed tests are available through Athena Diagnostics, a business of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services.
The tests will be unveiled during the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16-23, 2013 (Booth 1413).
The tests streamline the diagnostic process by using gene sequencing and bioinformatics to evaluate many clinically-relevant genes with a single blood draw. Test reports provide information to assist clinicians and genetic counselors in confirming a diagnosis, developing a targeted treatment plan and managing patient care.
The new services include expanded testing for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), a hereditary motor sensory neuropathy for which early accurate diagnosis is critical to ensure patients avoid contra-indicated medications which can worsen symptoms. They also include DNA sequencing tests for myofibrillar myopathy (MFM), a debilitating disease that can lead to cardiac and respiratory complications, but is often confused with CMT and other conditions. Athena provides a broad diagnostic menu for MFM that may help physicians identify the disorder, hastening the use of aggressive supportive care that may maximize functional activity and prolong life expectancy.