Disease Conditions Diagnosed By Genetic Testing
By: Rich Fuller
Since about the 1950's some major breakthroughs have taken place in the area of genetic testing which have meant that today many conditions may be diagnosed by genetic testing. In this article we will discuss a few of these conditions diagnosed by genetic testing but there is constantly new research becoming available which means that the conditions listed below are by no means a full list of conditions benefited by DNA testing.
One of the conditions that can be predicted using genetic testing is the likelihood of getting certain cancers. A number of cancers appear to be gene linked and as such can be predicted using genetic testing. Breast Cancer for example is linked to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
Huntington's disease, a degenerative brain disorder, is another condition which may be predicted by genetic testing. It is important to realize however that just because one is shown to contain the gene for Huntington's disease does not necessarily mean that one will have Huntington's disease; this is dependent on how many cycles of the CAG bases are found within the person's genes.
Another disease that may be able to be predicted by genetic testing and which is currently hotly debated is autism. New tests may allow geneticists to test for autism using prenatal genetic testing but many people, especially amongst the autistic community are questioning whether this testing is ethical. As a prospective parent you are going to need to decide this for yourself and whether you want to have tests done, especially if your family has a history of autism.
Down's syndrome is another condition which may be diagnosed by genetic testing, however, the modern methods of DNA testing may not be as accurate for predicting Down's syndrome as the more traditional methods of testing for this disorder and so a combined testing method using both prenatal genetic testing as well as older, more traditional methods.
In conclusion, genetic testing may be used to diagnose and predict a number of genetic disorders including certain cancers, Huntington's disease, autism, Down's syndrome and a number of other disorders and diseases.