(WXYZ) – The newly FDA approved at-home DNA tests allows anyone interested to find out if they have genetic risks for 10 specific diseases. Included on this list is a disease that evokes great fear in many people, and that is late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. You can also test for Parkinson’s, Celiac disease and several rare blood diseases.
First, you provide a saliva sample that gets analyzed. Your DNA gets isolated and then tested for more than 500,000 genetic variants, specially looking for variation involved in the 10 conditions!
If the DNA testing reveals you have a genetic predisposition to a specific disease, this does not mean you will develop it. Because there are other factors that influence a disease’ development and progression, like your lifestyle and environment. But knowing you have a higher genetic risk can help you make positive lifestyle changes.
There is a lot you can do to live a longer, healthier and happier life.
1. Add movement to your daily life. It can be as easy as walking while you’re on the phone, or parking a little farther away from the door. Aim to exercise 30 minutes 5 days a week.
2. Maintain a healthy weight. It can help improve your quality of life and help you live longer.
3. Eat healthy so you get the right balance of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Be sure to get at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
4. Don’t smoke. It can harm many organs in your body and causes almost 1 in 5 American deaths each year.
One of the risks with the DNA tests is that you can receive false-positives. You may incorrectly be notified that you have a risk when you actually don’t. If you decide to try an at-home DNA test, remember these are serious conditions and the results may cause you anxiety. So please be sure to discuss the results and your next steps with your doctor.
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