Whether you're concerned about your parents or even your own vulnerability to Alzheimer's disease, you may be wondering about the benefits of home-based genetic testing for the gene that's been identified to increase your risk factor. Before you order one of these take-at-home genetic tests, there are a few things that you should know.
The Basics Of Gene Testing
When you undergo genetic testing for any reason, the tests will be looking for either risk genes, determinant genes, or both. Understanding the difference between these genes and exactly what the test you're taking looks for will help you to get the test that's right for your needs and understand the results.
A risk gene is a gene that's been found to increase your risk of developing a disease if that gene is present. A determinant gene is one that has been proven to coincide with the development of a disease. If a determinant gene for a specific condition is found in your genetic testing, you will eventually develop that condition or disease.
Understanding Alzheimer's Genetic Testing
The home-based Alzheimer's genetic testing is used to identify a risk gene that's been confirmed to show a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's or other types of dementia later in life. The presence of this gene doesn't mean that you will definitely develop Alzheimer's or dementia, but it means that you might be more likely than those without the gene.
Dealing With Genetic Testing Results
While many people think that the availability of these home tests means that they can test themselves and never have to talk with a genetic testing specialist, the fact is that working with a genetic testing professional is still very important.
There are many different factors that can influence your risk, even with the presence of the determined risk gene. However, many home tests don't account for some of those other factors, so you may not fully understand your actual risk. It's easy to misread the results or potentially miss something that you might otherwise need to know.
Meeting with a genetic testing professional, even if you decide to do the home testing, will help you to fully understand the results and what they could potentially mean for you. Reach out to an Alzheimer's genetic testing clinic near you today if you want to find out what your risk factor looks like. The clinic will conduct tests like an APOE genetic test to see if you are at risk for Alzheimer's.