Vitality

10 Diseases You Can Now Test For At Home: Kit Shows Genetic Risk For Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, And More

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now allowing the first at-home genetic testing kit to be sold to consumers. DNA testing company “23andMe” will be legally allowed to market its tests for 10 diseases or conditions, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Celiac disease; however, it’s important to note it’s not a diagnostic test and only provides genetic risk information.

Read: What Happens When You Send In Your DNA For Testing? What You Can Learn And How You Can Help Science​

The tests are intended to be used to “make decisions about lifestyle choices or to inform discussions with a health care professional,” the FDA stated in a news release.

DNA Genetic testing can be useful to find out certain disease and conditions you may be at risk of developing. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

The genetic testing kits can be ordered online and require a mail-in saliva sample, which is used to identify more than 500,000 genetic variants. Upon sending in the sample, the consumer receives their results via email in about 6 to 8 weeks, according to 23andMe’s website.

Peer-reviewed scientific data supports the connection between the gene variants and 10 health conditions. Additional research confirms this information can be identified from a saliva sample.

One risk associated with the tests are false findings. For example, a person’s results may indicate they have a certain genetic variation, when in fact they don’t, or vice versa, the FDA notes.

This approval marks a tremendous uplift for 23andMe. In 2013, the company was under tough scrutiny by the FDA, and received a warning letter regarding the accuracy of their results for over 250 health conditions. Then in 2015, they received the approval to market its tests for Bloom syndrome.

Other diseases and conditions the tests are now approved for include various blood disorders and a movement disorder. The full list, from the FDA’s news release, is below: 

Parkinson’s disease

Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease

Celiac disease

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

Early-onset primary dystonia

Factor XI deficiency

Gaucher disease type 1

Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase deficiency, also known as G6PD

Hereditary hemochromatosis

Hereditary thrombophilia

 

See also: Is Happiness In Your DNA? Scientists Find Genetic Variations May Influence Subjective Well-Being

Genetic Testing Sometimes Finds Chromosomal Abnormalities In Embryos, But They May Turn Normal Before Birth

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