Escape from hereditary diseases

In many diseases heredity plays a role to a greater or lesser extent. That is why it is useful to know for what there is an increased vulnerability in your family. By creating a medical family tree you will learn a lot. But the possibilities of DNA testing are now also very large. An overview of the possibilities regarding hereditary disorders. When visiting a doctor, the question sometimes arises as to whether someone in the family has also had the disease. Rarely can we answer this. Many diseases and disorders from the family history have never been pronounced, because there was a taboo about it in the past or because science did not yet know the answer. Just think of the miscarriages of an aunt or the "heart condition" of grandfather. But sometimes there are similar conditions in the family that you, your children or grandchildren might expect later because genetic factors control them. We should therefore pay more attention to the medical history of our family members. The best known genetic studies are those that we automatically perform during pregnancy to prevent the risk of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down's syndrome. These are done by means of a amniotic fluid puncture or a flake test. However, these tests do not tell everything. Many diseases and abnormalities cannot yet be detected in this way.

Medical pedigree

To find out if there is a certain disease in your family, it is useful to put together a medical family tree. This considerably increases the possibilities for prevention and diagnosis. Creating such a family tree is usually fairly easy. Family gatherings are the perfect place to set this up. The most important are the first-degree family members. Parents, brothers, sisters and children. But grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins ​​can also provide important information. Make a note of the date of birth for each person, the age at which a particular illness occurred and possibly the date and cause of the death. Diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and depression are particularly interesting. Even when diseases occurred in superiors and manifested at a young age. Then have your doctor draw the necessary conclusions.

DNA research

A predictive genetic test can also be performed, better known as a DNA test. This is done by a clinical geneticist or heredity specialist. With such a test you will always be guided by a psychologist. This should help you consider the possible outcome and how to respond to it. Moreover, not everyone has the same psychological capacity. Most disorders are determined by one gene. DNA-free tests are performed on symptom-free individuals to determine whether they possess that particular gene or not. However, it does not always mean that everyone who carries the abnormal gene will later also get the disease with certainty. Only with a few disorders is that 100% certain, such as with Huntington's disease. For breast cancer or ovarian cancer, that is only 60% to 85%. The carrier of the gene remains and to the next generation there is again a chance to pass on the mutation. The age at which the disease appears and the severity with which it will manifest itself is rarely predictable. A DNA test certainly does not tell us everything. The most important hereditary disorders that can be tested through a DNA test are the disorders of the nervous system, hereditary cancers and hereditary heart diseases. by no means all diseases are detectable with this method, although the list of diseases gradually becomes longer.

The consequences

It is not always easy to live with the result of such a test. Even if it appears that you have sprung the dance, there is still the possibility that others in the family will be tested unfavorably. One can then suffer from feelings of guilt. Often the feeling of uncertainty and unbelief also persists. An unfavorable result always comes hard, no matter how well one tries to prepare and was assisted by a psychologist. Preventive treatments are often available and you should be checked regularly. It is interesting to know that if the result is unfavorable, you are not required to report this to the health insurance company or the employer. You can also decide whether or not to inform the family. This is therefore in no way required.

Video: Genetic Therapies for Genetic Diseases: Results and Lessons from Recent Successes (April 2020).

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