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Genetic Testing Topics..

You are here : home > Genetic Testing > Related Articles For Genetic Testing > Genetic Testing for Family History

Genetic Testing for Family History

Genetic testing can help in preventing much of trouble in future. Genetic testing is recommended where a genetic disorder is hereditary or runs in the family. Genetic disorder can be passed on to the offspring so genetic tests can predict the probability of contracting a diseases. Read on to know more about genetic testing for family history.

The most vital fact that a genetic testing for family history looks for is whether there is a hereditary genetic disorder running in the family. This is particularly in reference to the situation where a couple is looking forward to starting a family. When you decide to test for family history, you do not require doctor’s cover letter, but is advisable to go for a genetic counseling session before you actually do the testing.

This is particularly important as one needs to be aware of the all the possible consequences of the results, be it negative or uncertain. There are several emotional issues involved and therefore for the best interest of the couple, it is necessary that they are equipped to make an informed choice. 

When is it Genetic Testing for Family History Suggested?

Genetic testing for family history is suggested by doctors usually when one or any of the partners are aware that they have a genetic disorder, either in them or in their family. So in order to be assured on whether they are likely to pass on the said disorder to their offspring, they opt for genetic testing. Genetic testing is also done when any of the partners belong to certain ethnic groups that are known for frequent genetic abnormalities. The screening generally comprises of blood tests and genetic tests.

Given below is a list of facts that are sought in genetic testing for family history. The assessment comprise of the following questions:

Genetic Disorder in Family Members - Whether any close family member of any of the partners have had a genetic disorder and the causes of death for their family members.

Overall Health of Family Members - The overall health of both the first and second degree relatives - First degree relatives mean parents, children and siblings and second degree relatives mean the extended family of grandparents, uncles and aunts.

Infant Death - Whether there have been instances where the baby has died soon after delivery in the near family. The assessment also looks for instances if there are stillbirths or miscarriages or if the baby is born with any congenital birth defect.

Interracial Marriages - Interracial marriages amongst relatives are also important factors as it involves the introduction and presence of new genes in the family pedigree. It also raises the possibility of an abnormal gene sneaking through in the family tree.

Ethic Background Check - The ethnic background is thoroughly checked. This is because certain ethnic groups are at an increased risk of contracting and developing certain genetic disorders.

While researching on the family history usually details of three generations are considered to be enough. But if the facts discovered are not very clear-cut, the assessment may not be a definitive one. In such cases facts about distant relatives are also taken into consideration. Often doctors desire to go through the medical reports of those members who have contracted a genetic disorder. 

Carrier Screening – Vital Aspect of Genetic Testing for Family History

In most of the cases regarding genetic disorders, it has been found that the person from whom the genes have passed down did not necessarily suffer from the same genetic disorder. It can well be the case that the person was merely a carrier. Carriers do not show symptoms or the known visible characteristics of the disease but they can pass on the genes. It is therefore important to find out whether any members of the family are carriers of certain genetic disorders.

There is this recessive genetic disorder when the abnormal gene is recessive in character. For the genetic disorder to manifest itself it is necessary that two copies of the particular gene must be similar. A prenatal diagnostic testing is suggested if any of the partners are found to carry a recessive gene. 

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