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Genetic Testing: Know All About The Importance Of Genetic Testing

Genetic testing refers to the mapping of genes, chromosomes and proteins of an organism's body. It is performed to find out various genetic diseases that cannot be diagnosed easily or those that do not have a definite diagnostic technique.

Genetic Testing: Know All About The Importance Of Genetic Testing

Gene testing is done on a sample of blood or body fluid extracted from the body of an organism

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Genetic testing is performed to diagnose a genetic disease in a baby
  2. Genetic tests can be molecular, chromosomal or biochemical
  3. Genetic tests can predict if a parent can pass on a disease to the child
Genetic testing refers to the mapping of genes, chromosomes and proteins of an organism's body. Gene testing is done on a sample of blood or body fluid extracted from the body of the organism. It is performed to find out various genetic diseases that cannot be diagnosed easily or those that do not have a definite diagnostic technique. It can help in determining the presence of diseases that do not show any external symptoms. A treatment concerning a change in genetics of a person is called gene therapy. 

Genetic testing is one of the latest and important diagnostic methods. It can help find out the type of medication required for an acutely ill patient. Without genetic testing, many fatal diseases can go undiscovered until it is too late to be treated. Some of the many genetic diseases that can be treated by gene therapy are cystic fibrosis, haemophilia and sickle cell anemia.

Genetic testing helps in unravelling everything that you can learn about your genes. It can help discover your uniqueness by mapping your genes to the lowest molecular level. Such a service can be availed at MapMyGenome's GenomePatri. Besides these, tests like MyFitGene testing can also help you to choose the best fitness plans and diets for your body. It helps in finding out the fitness regime that will yield the best results for your body.

Doctors perform genetic testing for various reasons, like:

1. To diagnose a genetic disease in a newborn baby



2. To check if a patient, who is a carrier or has a trait of any genetic disease, may pass it to their children or not.

3. To diagnose a genetic disease in a fetus.

4. To find out a cause of a genetic disease. 

5. To find a accurate form of treatment for a genetic disease.

6. To diagnose the disease in a person who showing the symptoms of a genetic disease.

7. To find out which medicine will have the maximum benefits for you as one drug may not be same for all. You could try the MedicaMap test to know exactly that. 


fetus

Genetic testing can help in finding out if a fetus is suffering from a disease
Photo Credit: iStock

Types of genetic tests

1. Molecular gene tests

This test requires a small part of DNA strand extracted from the blood or other bodily fluids. It is used to find out any form of changes taking place in the gene structure of the person.

2. Chromosomal gene tests

This test makes use of the chromosomes of a person. It takes in consideration the type, structure, size and arrangement of the chromosomes.

 
dna

Molecular gene test requires a small part of the DNA structure
Photo Credit: iStock

3. Biochemical gene tests

This test takes in the account the amount and activities of proteins in the cells. A biochemical gene test is usually performed on a baby in uterus or a newborn child.

Also read: 4 Reasons Why Your Newborn Isn't Sleeping At Night

Importance of genetic testing

Genetic testing is an important form of disease testing. Gene testing can determine various diseases that do not provide any outward symptoms. It can in help the treatment of any disease before it starts causing any destruction to the natural function of the body. Genetic testing can also help in the detection of any gene mutations. These gene mutations can take place at any period of time and cannot be predicted by any other form of diagnostic tests. It can help in predicting any disease or disorder that might take place during later in life. Such diseases can be avoided beforehand through immediate treatment. Genetic testing can also predict whether a parent has a chance of passing on particular disease to their offspring. Any genetic disease can be diagnosed while a baby is still in their mother's womb and can be treated accordingly as soon as possible. It helps in diagnosing a disease that cannot be diagnosed by other techniques.

 
gene test

Genetic testing can also help in the detection of any gene mutations

Drawbacks or risks of genetic testing

Medical drawbacks or risks regarding gene testing are nearly negligible. Most drawbacks concerned with genetic testing are either emotional, financial or social. A genetic test not only reveals information about the patient but also about many other related family members. Some patients are not happy with the diagnosis. Genetic testing can also lead to genetic discrimination in many cases through social surrounding. Insurance companies may also indulge in a form of genetic discrimination. This may lead to many psychological problems like stress, anxiety or depression.

Not all diagnosis made through a genetic testing are subjected to treatment. There are some genetic diseases that are fatal and do not have any form of treatment available. In addition to that, the will to subject to any form treatment for any disease is completely dependent on the patient. Genetic testing can only determine the course of treatment for the disease. It does not predict whether the presence of a harmful gene will ultimately lead to the disease. Or when the mutated gene will react. During these situations, a genetic test is not helpful.

 
crying

Most drawbacks of genetic testing as psychological
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Depression: 8 Early Signs And Symptoms

Cost of genetic testing

The cost of a genetic test can vary from about a 100$ to more than 2000$. The price range varies for all the different types of genetic tests.

Consult a genetic counsellor

People get genetic testing performed for various reasons. Some wish to find out about the possibilities of the treatment of their disease to stay healthy for a long period of time. While other wish to know about the details of their disease. A genetic test can help the patients take important life decisions for themselves and their family members. For all such questions regarding genetic mapping, one much consult a genetic counsellor. A genetic counsellor can guide them properly through this.

Also read: Exercise and counselling improves osteoarthritis

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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