A rise in genetic tests used in diagnosing genetic conditions has increased due to genetic research developments. Infants, adults, and children can try genetic testing.
Genetic tests are used to diagnose a disease an individual might have, and the appropriate risks are measured for the particular condition. Adults can have prenatal testing done during pregnancy, and preconception testing done before becoming pregnant. The results help physicians provide appropriate treatments tailored for an individual.
What is Genetic Testing?
Genetic testing is a useful tool that identifies mutations or alterations in a person’s DNA that could result in a genetic disease identified. The changes in the structure of essential proteins coded by specific genes are what the test is trying to find.
The levels of RNA can be assessed in particular conditions. Abnormal results mean that someone has a genetic disorder.
What to learn from genetic tests.
Various genetic tests provide different results. These tests can help you to find the following.
1.Determine a disease’s severity.
2.Screen newborns for particular treatable conditions.
3.For certain individuals, doctors are guided on what treatment to offer.
4.Identify the gene changes that have resulted in the diagnosed disease.
5.Identify gene changes that can be passed to children and those that increase the chances of developing a disease.
The various types of genetic tests are
1.Gene test that looks into someone’s DNA or RNA in their blood or other body fluids such as tissues or saliva. The short lengths of the RNA or DNA are tested.
2.The chromosomal test looks at someone’s chromosomes. Mainly their structure, arrangement, and number. Changes, like pieces of chromosomes expanding, deleted or switched to another chromosomal location.
3.The biochemical test looks into the activities or amounts of key proteins. Its mainly used for newborn testing as it can detect defects in infants.
4.Diagnostic testing to identify the disease making a person ill.
5.The predictive genetic test is done to find a gene that increases the chances of developing diseases.
Genetic testing is available for more than 2,000 conditions from over 500 various laboratories. Testing has become commercialized and not only available for newborn screening.
Taking a genetic test is pretty easy if you want to have one done at home. To do so, order your kit, spit in the test container, ship it to the clinic and wait for your results.
There are several genetic testing facts that you need to know before you get yourself a home kit or go ahead and get a test done. Below are some facts that you should know.
1.You won’t figure out everything about your genes.
Individual sections in your DNA are checked by genetic testing companies, and they don’t focus on all three billion base pairs. The selected areas are due to them giving off definite information on what genetic changes mean.
2.Don’t expect to learn if you are to get cancer.
The genetic tests done at home and those done at the doctors’ office only provide little details from your DNA. Heart disease or cancer and other medical conditions are complex and cannot be traced to a single abnormality in your DNA. Get cancer testing for better results.
3.Your DNA may not be for private eyes only.
Some companies will comply to give law enforcement genetic data if asked for it. All that is stripped away from the personal information you provided is your age, name, email address, medical information, and address.
In the contract you are given to sign, some companies include their right to sell their genetic databases to be used for research purposes or to other companies such as pharmaceutical drug makers.
For some, they may ask what to do with your saliva. You might request for it to be destroyed after they sequence your DNA, but the information will still be in their database. Or, store the sample to be re-sequenced when other mutations are available.
4.You know where you came from.
Some people use genetic testing as a means of tracing their biological parents or lost relatives. Your DNA once sequenced can be used to show you how many people you share the same genome. You can be surprised to learn that you have Irish heritage or are related to Frank Sinatra.
Learn more about genetic testing before you send samples anywhere.