Genetic Testing Dna Carrier Testing

With the numerous medical advancements in today’s society, adults are able to take more proactive approaches to their health care. Through prenatal testing and ancestry DNA testing, individuals are able to access previously unknown medical information and decide upon the right treatments or courses of action.

Gestational carrier testing is now a useful option for those who are exploring their reproductive options. By knowing the risks of heredity diseases within their genes, couples can thoroughly evaluate their decision to have children.

Gestational Carrier Testing

For couples who would like to have children, DNA carrier testing can be a very influential factor in their decisions.

If one parent tests positive for a mutated gene, there is a one in four chance with every pregnancy that the child will also inherit the mutated gene. If both parents test positive for a mutated gene, the risk increases to fifty percent that a child will develop a disease

However, it is important to note that testing positive in a DNA carrier test does not guarantee a child will develop a disease. It simply puts the child at a higher risk than one whose parents tested negative.

Who Should Receive DNA Carrier Testing

Some mutated genes that cause inherited diseases are more prevalent in some races than in others. People with the following ancestry are more prone to carrying sickle cell anemia genes than other races:

  • African
  • Asian
  • Hispanic
  • Mediterranean
  • Middle Eastern.

Many Caucasians choose to receive cystic fibrosis carrier testing before deciding to reproduce, in order to gauge their child’s risk for the lung, liver and pancreas disease. DNA carrier testing for Huntington disease is common in people whose ethnic ancestry includes:

  • African
  • Asian
  • Western European.

Once a couple tests positive for a mutated gene, there are many difficult decisions to make about the future of their reproductive options. Some choose to adopt children in order to eliminate the risk of inherited disease entirely. Others opt to complete natural pregnancy, or look into artificial insemination choices. In many cases, physicians are able to treat and provide preventative medications for children born to parents with high risks of inherited disease. Nevertheless, the choice is often complicated and challenging for prospective parents.

The Future of DNA Carrier Testing for Diseases

Scientists have shown great advancements in testing DNA samples for recessive genes that can lead to diseases. DNA carrier testing can detect genes responsible for:

  • Bloom syndrome
  • Canavan disease
  • congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • cystic fibrosis
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Fanconi anemia, Group C
  • fragile X syndrome
  • Gaucher disease
  • Huntington disease
  • Niemann-Pick disease
  • Niemann-Pick disease, Type A
  • sickle Cell disease
  • Tay Sachs disease
  • thalassemia.

Of course, the constant evolution of medical technology and knowledge makes it possible for scientists to use DNA carrier testing for more diseases every day. Helping prospective parents understand the potential for disease in their child has been a complicated, but valuable undertaking among many in the science community. Although the ethics of this knowledge is greatly debated, the topic is of great interest to many.

Resources

DNA Testing (2007). DNA carrier testing: tracing gene disorders. Retrieved September 19, 2008, from the DNA-Testing-Helper.com Web site: www.dna-testing-helper.com/dnacarriertesting.html.

NTSAD.org (n.d.). Carrier testing. Retrieved September 19, 2008, from the NTSAD.org Web site: www.ntsad.org/S06/S06carrier.htm.

Yale University School of Medicine (n.d.). DNA carrier testing for genetic diseases. Retrieved September 19, 2008, from the Ob-Gyn-Infertility.com Web site: www.ob-gyn-infertility.com/DNA Carrier testing.html.