Skip to content

    Children's Health

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Concerns Raised About Drugstore Genetic Test

    FDA Is Looking Into Claims About New Genetic Test Kit

    Experts: Genetic Test Offers 'Information Without Knowledge' continued...

    The bad news, Marion says, is that it's extremely difficult to interpret the information that comes back from genetic testing.

    "It opens up a Pandora's box," Marion says. "For a lot of other things they are testing for, we are not at a point yet where we can understand the results in a way that will be helpful to most families."

    Vance uses even stronger language.

    "They are giving people information without knowledge," he says. "The question is not whether a person has a risk gene but how much risk is involved. The average risk gene for a common disease is probably one and a half times the normal risk. So if it takes 100 pounds of risk to get the disease, these may be 1-pound risks."

    And as every expert who spoke to WebMD is quick to note, genetic risk is not destiny. There is robust interplay between a person's genes, a person's lifestyle, a person's environment, and a person's experience. Genes, particularly SNPs, are only part of this complex equation.

    "A lot of people who have a genetic risk for a disease never get the disease," Vance says. "And a lot of people who get a disease never had that genetic risk."

    Vance and Marion both strongly agree that genetic counseling should not be an add-on option to genetic testing. Genetic counseling, they say, is the whole point of genetic testing.

    Who might need such counseling? Virtually everyone who gets genetic testing.

    "With the number of susceptibility genes out there, everybody is going to find he or she is susceptible to one condition or another. Virtually 100% of the population is going to have a positive result," Marion says.

    1 | 2 | 3

    Today on WebMD

    child with red rash on cheeks
    What’s that rash?
    plate of fruit and veggies
    How healthy is your child’s diet?
     
    smiling baby
    Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
    Middle school band practice
    Understanding your child’s changing body.
     

    worried kid
    fitArticle
    jennifer aniston
    Slideshow
     
    Measles virus
    Article
    sick child
    Slideshow
     

    babyapp
    New
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow
     
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
    Child Coughing or Sneezing into Elbow
    Article