What is the role of genetic testing in the workup of insomnia?

Updated: Sep 11, 2018
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

If a patient with rapidly progressing insomnia has any first-degree relatives who died with insomnia, there may be concern for fatal familial insomnia (FFI). Genetic testing for this rare condition is available and consists of sequencing the PRNP gene. Brain imaging—specifically, positron-emission tomography (PET) to look for hypometabolism in the thalamus and cingulated cortex—may also assist in the diagnosis of FFI. [2]


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