What is a genetic condition?The Genetic Alliance defines a genetic disorder as a disease caused either in whole, or in part, by a change or mutation in a person’s DNA sequence. These mutations can be due to an error in DNA replication, or due to environmental factors such as exposure to radiation or even cigarette smoke. There are three different categories including single gene, chromosomal or complex disorders:
- Single gene disorders – these are conditions that are caused by a defect in one gene. While these single gene disorders are very rare individually, collectively they affect around 1% of the population. As one single gene is involved, these conditions can be tracked through family history and geneticists can predict the likelihood of them occurring in later generations.
- Chromosomal disorders – this type of genetic condition occurs because of a change in the structure or number of chromosomes.
- Complex disorders – also known as polygenic or multifactorial disorders, these conditions are caused by different genes interacting with lifestyle and environmental factors. This can include diabetes, hypertension, schizophrenia and developmental abnormalities like cleft lip and congenital heart defects. As these types of conditions involve more than one gene, inheritance patterns can be difficult to identify. Put simply, just because a parent has a complex disorder, it doesn’t mean their child will develop the same disease. However, they may be at a higher risk of developing it. In these events, certain lifestyle changes like maintaining a healthy weight and having frequent disease screenings can help to reduce the risk of disease in some people.
How can AlphaBiolabs help?Although AlphaBiolabs does not offer DNA testing for all genetic disorders, we do offer the following important genetic tests:
NIPTNon-invasive prenatal genetic tests (NIPT) screen unborn babies for certain genetic conditions, from 10 weeks into pregnancy. With only a blood sample required from the mother, the NIPT test is 100% risk-free for mother and baby, and can be used to determine if there is an increased risk of your baby being affected by a chromosomal condition (aneuploidy). If you are pregnant, knowing the level of risk of your baby having a genetic condition can either give you peace of mind, or provide you with the information you need to make important decisions about your pregnancy. An aneuploidy is a condition that occurs when the baby has an incorrect number of chromosomes – usually an extra chromosome, or a missing copy of a chromosome. The most common chromosomal abnormalities are called trisomies, which occur when the baby has an extra chromosome (three rather than two). Some examples of trisomies include Down’s syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards’ syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau’s syndrome (Trisomy 13). You can order your NIPT online today from just £435, including free sample collection at a location of your choice.
Genetic coeliac disease / genetic lactose intoleranceWe also provide genetic testing for two common digestive disorders – coeliac disease and lactose intolerance. Whether you are experiencing symptoms that could be linked to either condition, or simply want a test to rule them out, our home Genetic Coeliac Disease Test and our home Genetic Lactose Intolerance Test are a fast, accurate and reliable way to find out whether you carry the genes linked to these two conditions, with only a simple cheek swab required. There are many reasons why you might want a genetic test for the genes associated with coeliac disease (HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8) or a genetic test for primary lactose intolerance, including:
- You are experiencing symptoms including diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, flatulence, indigestion, regular mouth ulcers, nausea, and fatigue
- You have a child who is experiencing symptoms that could indicate either condition
- You have a close family member who has been diagnosed with either condition – research shows that people with primary lactose intolerance or coeliac disease have a higher risk of passing the disease down to first-degree relatives (i.e. parents to children)
- You have been following a gluten-free or lactose-free diet, and want to rule out the possibility of having either disease, so that you can seek the correct treatment
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