Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

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
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool