Should you test your baby for genetic disease risks at birth?

| | February 12, 2018

Before Cheryl Connolly gave birth to her first child, Loudon, she ran through the checklist of all the things expecting parents are supposed to do these days:

  1. Create a birth plan.
  2. Consent to the newborn heel prick test for metabolic diseases.
  3. Bank his umbilical cord blood.

But now, she learned, there was a new one to consider: Sequence his DNA.

Connolly knew of an ongoing genomics research study called MyCode, which would make it possible for his doctor to take a sample from Loudon’s umbilical cord and send it to a lab that would look for mutations in his genetic code.

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On the one hand, you might learn valuable information—like whether your child has the gene for dangerously high cholesterol, a treatable condition called familial hypercholesterolemia.

On the other hand, you could also discover something terrifying that you’re helpless to prevent. A growing number of labs and apps will reveal a child’s potential to develop certain cancers or incurable diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, that wouldn’t appear until your child was grown—if at all.

[E]xperts aren’t convinced that the potential usefulness of such information is worth saddling a child with an unwanted medical identity—and their parents with unnecessary angst.

Read full, original post: Now You Can Genetically Test Your Child For Disease Risks. Should You?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.

 

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