What are the Types of Genetic Tests?
Genetic testing is becoming more and more popular nowadays for the many purposes it can serve. It does not help in identifying many genetic disorders but also in establishing parenthood. It has also become a common practice in forensic science to help with criminal cases. Read on to find out what is genetic testing, why is it done, and what are its types.
What is Genetic Testing?
Genetic testing, in simple terms, is a type of medical test that identifies chromosomes, genes, or proteins. The most common use of genetic testing is to confirm or rule out various genetic conditions. In many cases, it also helps in determining an individual’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. Many diseases like Alzheimer’s can be detected early on by testing for the presence of genes responsible for the disease since genes are passed from parent to child.
Genetic testing is voluntary in most cases and there are limitations and risks to be considered before getting it done.
Types of Genetic Testing
- Forensic Testing: Forensic testing is done to identify a person’s DNA sequences for legal purposes. The sole purpose of this type of testing is to identify a crime suspect, or victims, or to establish biological relationships between people.
- Preimplantation Testing: Also known as Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), preimplantation testing is done in cases of assisted reproductive methods like in-vitro. This is done to identify genetic changes in the embryos created artificially in a controlled environment. Once it is asserted that there are no genetic changes of an unwanted sort, the embryos are then implanted in the body to be initiated into a pregnancy.
- Prenatal Testing: Prenatal testing is done during pregnancy to identify changes in a fetus’s genes or chromosomes before birth. This test helps in determining if there are chances of a baby developing genetic or chromosomal disorders in life. Although not all kinds of birth defects can be identified in prenatal testing, it can detect many conditions that can help parents assess the situation and make important decisions about a pregnancy well in time.
- Newborn Screening: Newborn screening is done just after birth to determine that genetic disorders (if present) can be treated early on before they become untreatable or difficult to treat after it has progressed. Many states require to test babies for certain conditions like phenylketonuria or congenital hypothyroidism which can become severe if not treated in time.
- Carrier Testing: Carrier testing is done to detect if people carrying a copy of a gene mutation that can cause a genetic disorder in further generations. Carrier testing is essentially useful when there is a family history of a genetic disorder being passed on. When both parents are tested, carrier tests can offer valuable information about a child’s possibility of inheriting a genetic disorder or condition.
- Presymptomatic Testing: Also known as Predictive Testing, this type of testing is carried out to detect gene mutations that appear only after birth, or later in life. These tests are essentially useful in identifying mutations that increase the chances of individual developing disorders with a genetic root before the symptoms occur, such as breast cancer. This can mentally prepare people and help them make decisions about future medical care.
- Diagnostic Testing: Diagnostic testing is used to detect or rule out a specific genetic or chromosomal condition. Diagnostic testing can either be performed before birth or at any time during a person’s life, but it is limited to a certain number of disorders and gene mutations.
When making a choice about genetic testing, it is essential that you choose a reliable and secure service provider. Genetic testing includes highly confidential information which can leave a great impact on an individual’s social and emotional status. So, it is best to rely on only a trusted lab such as The Carlson Company. We know that your data is private and make sure that it is secured at all costs.
To discuss your requirement, get in touch with us.