New Panels Help Find Cause of Rapidly Progressive Dementia

Answers From the Lab

Rapidly progressive dementia (RPD) is an umbrella term covering many devastating conditions, including Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD). In this test-specific episode of the "Answers From the Lab" podcast, Gregg Day, M.D., explains how Mayo Clinic Laboratories' unique RPD evaluation and new CJD test guide diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment decisions.

"The biggest challenge we face when we see a patient with rapidly progressive dementia is, what is the cause?" Dr. Days says. "Ordering the RPD panel — which includes Alzheimer's disease biomarkers, CJD-specific markers, and combinations of those ratios that can help discriminate between those two — is a really good start."

The RPD panel is especially appropriate for dementia cases that have faster onset than Alzheimer's disease but don't appear to be typical CJD. "The CJD panel can be ordered alone if clinicians are confident a patient meets the criteria for possible or probable CJD," Dr. Day says.

For patients with suspected autoimmune dementia, Mayo Clinic Laboratories offers testing in serum (Mayo ID: DMS2) and cerebrospinal fluid (Mayo ID: DMC2). "That's another very important set of tests to consider for patients with rapidly progressive dementia," Dr. Day says.

Listen to learn more about Mayo Clinic Laboratories' RPD and CJD evaluations.

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Barbara J. Toman

Barbara J. Toman is a Senior Communications Specialist at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She is also the science writer for Mayo’s Neurosciences Update newsletter, which helps referring physicians to stay informed about Mayo’s treatment and research. Barbara has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2007. She enjoys international travel and cooking.