SYNAPS Dx, a privately held company focused on the research, development and commercialization of diagnostics for neurological disorders and conditions, has released DISCERN™, the first accurate, minimally invasive test for the definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) versus other forms of dementia.
The test is minimally invasive, accurate, and designed to get a diagnosis early in the patient journey, which would have a great impact on interventions, medications and therapies used (and NOT used) as well as help the payer get reimbursements for treatments.
This is huge news for the currently buzzing world of potential Alzheimer's treatments and diagnostics. Not only that, but huge news in the world of neurological disorders like Parkinson's, vascular dementia, Huntington's disease, and more.
I can only speak from the perspective of my lived experience. That is a millennial woman who is the primary caregiver for her father who is lost at sea -- the sea being one of neurological disorders. The water is murky from different diagnoses and terms. Waves of new opinions come crashing down on us. The water won't stay the same; it keeps changing from new influence and explanations like, "there's no way to really know,' and, 'it's Parkinsonism, which is the same as Parkinson's.' One day he's just repeating numbers. If I go looking for answers, I am met with, 'you should expect this. His condition is progressive.' Another day, I'm met with orders to take him to the ER after which he's discharged under 'mental changes.' Unspecified.
'Mental changes.' How is that acceptable? Would anyone accept a hospital discharge under 'physical changes'?
I notice this shrugging of shoulders from doctors and nurses. I also notice people who don't visit. His friends; my friends. No sympathy cards. There's a stigma around anything to do with 'mental changes.' The stigma I thought only reserved for mental illness, depression, anxiety -- it extends to folks with cognitive changes.
However, an estimated 5.8 million Americans over age 65 have Alzheimer's Disease. This doesn't even include all of the other dementias. We, as a society, would do well to get over this stigma that surely has stunted scientific research and growth. It's only standing in our way. Neurological disorders are an enormous reality, and as caregivers, we feel utterly useless. We are not given options, ideas, instruction, education. We are not told how we can participate in research. We, especially millennials, are not empowered with a mission -- the mission to push the needle forward. We are not empowered with that mission because we can't even get a proper diagnosis.
So. I-Ally is extremely proud to partner with Synaps Dx and to spread the news about DISCERN. Getting a diagnosis absolutely changes everything for a caregiver -- because then, they are empowered to make informed decisions about their loved one's care. That is everything.