[toc]Genetic testing provides important information about the genes and chromosomes of an individual. Genetic testing comes under that category of medical tests which are done to identify the nature of genes and chromosomes or any changes occurring in them. It may help in confirming or ruling out certain genetic diseases.
It is a voluntary test, because it is fraught with certain risks and limitations. Currently, close to one thousand genetic tests are available in the laboratory and research is on for more such tests. This article provides you information about a few prominent genetic tests.
Various Facts About Genetic Testing
Screening Of Newborn Babies
A genetic disorder called phenyl ketonuria is responsible for the development of mental illnesses. There is another common disorder of the thyroid gland called congenital hypothyroidism.
Prenatal testing, as is obvious, is done during the fetus stage. This testing is an option for those couples who are at a risk of parenting a baby with chromosomal or genetic disorder, thus giving the parents the option to abort the pregnancy if the test results declare birth defects and inherited disorders.
This test does not guaranty the identification of all possible types of birth defects or inherited disorders.
Since it is for legal purposes, it is used to figure out a crime, identification, or establishing biological relationships.
Not all types of genetic conditions can be tested under this category, due to lack of research at this juncture. Diagnostic testing is based on the study on mutations and symptoms to come to a diagnostic conclusion.
This testing is specific to those families which have a history of a particular genetic disorder. Certain genetic disorders run not just in families, but also in closely knit ethnic groups.
These families and communities are called the carriers of these disorders. The communities which are at higher risk of gene mutation disorders are diagnosed and consoled before the parents conceive. In such cases, both parents undergo a carrier testing to find out whether they have a risk of bearing a child with that disorder.
Presymptomatic And Predictive Testing
This testing determines the chances of development of genetic disorders at any stage of life. These test have proved to be helpful because if a person is at risk, he can make decisions and take precautionary measure much before the appearance of symptoms.
Breast cancer and ashemochromatosis are being very successfully diagnosed while people are still asymptomatic.
Samples To Be Taken
For conducting genetic tests skin, hair, blood or amniotic fluid can be used as a sample. At times certain other tissues of the body can be used as samples.
These samples are then sent to the laboratory where they are tested for the chromosomal changes, DNA sequencing or study of the proteins. It is very challenging to explain and interpret the results of genetic tests.