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Genetic Testing Topics..

You are here : home > Genetic Testing > Understanding Genetic Testing > Genetic Testing Facts

Genetic Testing Facts

Genetic testing facts are must to be known by everybody. Genetic testing is a very useful; tool for preventing inherited disorders. Genetic counseling and genetic testing go hand in hand as a person needs to be counseled before a genetic testing. Read on to know the answers to questions about genetic testing and to get all the facts about genetic testing.

The principle fact regarding genetic testing is that it provides extensive information on the individual’s genetic makeup. It provides ample insight into the probable risks regarding genetic disorders that is exposed to and whether he is the carrier of any genetic disorder that can be passed on to his future generations through genetic mutations. Accordingly, the person can plan his treatment and future decisions regarding important events in life.

Genetic Counseling Precedes the Genetic Testing

The nature of genetic testing is very complicated and has the potential to ender serious impact on the life and relationships of the said individual. This is why genetic counseling is suggested so that the person can make an informed decision on how to and whether he at all wants to go ahead with it or not. Genetic Counseling is of great help in clearing off doubts and preparing the individual and his/her family if the results are negative or uncertain.

Privacy is Always Maintained in Genetic Testing

One need not fear regarding any intrusion of their privacy or misuse of the reports. The clinic and the counselors are committed to respect the privacy of the individual. They will also make sure that they divulge the details to your family only after obtaining permission from you. Although at times the doctors do advise the patient to share the results with their immediate family. 

Recessive Genetic Disorders are X-linked

When the gene residing on the X-chromosome is mutated, the genetic disorder is termed as recessive. Men carry an X and a Y chromosome and women have two X chromosomes. The woman is considered to be a carrier of a genetic disorder if there is a recessive gene mutation in any of her X chromosomes.

It should be noted here that there is a big difference between being a carrier and contracting the disease. The woman may not show any symptoms of the said disorder whatsoever even if she is the carrier. But if she happens to give birth to a son, there is a 50% chance of the child inheriting the disorder. And if she gives birth to a daughter, there is a 50% chance of the child being a carrier of the disorder.

Not all Prenatal Tests are Diagnostic

Often the would-be mothers are asked to go for a maternal serum screening test. This test can identify some specific disorders like open neural tube defects and down syndrome. If the test yields a positive result, amniocentesis is called for. While the maternal serum screening test is not a diagnostic one, amniocentesis is.  

Genetic Testing Reveals Tendencies to Develop Ethnic Diseases

Certain genetic configurations are found as a common feature in certain ethnic groups. When doctors come across patients belonging to these specific ethnic groups they suggest genetic testing in order to ascertain whether the person is also a carrier. For instance cystic fibrosis is very common amongst Caucasians and sickle cell anemia is frequently observed in people of African descent.  

Genetic Tests Reveal Hereditary Pattern

The family pedigree is a notebook that can offer information on this aspect. Say if similar cancer cases are found in two or more members who are below the age of fifty, it definitely indicates a hereditary pattern. It is the inherited gene mutation that is at work here.

Decisions on Genetic Testing on Children is Delicate

Genetic tests with the purpose of screening whether the child is a carrier for disorders or not is not supported by those who are conscious regarding the ethical connotations of genetic testing. Testing for specific diseases that are likely to affect their health is fine but doing a broad testing for all disorders is not feasible. This is because children are not in a position to decide on their life as whether they want the test or not.

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