Becoming Aware of Disease Risk and Other Health Factors Through DNA Testing

The health technology company Klotho Therapeutics currently focuses on treating chronic kidney disease and other serious disorders. The Foundation for Kidney Transplant Research works on funding for related endeavors, and Thynk Capital is an investment company for healthcare and biotechnology. All of these organizations were founded by Jim Plante, an individual who has been diagnosed with the genetic disorder known as polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

Genetic Testing for Disease Risk

The list of organizations founded by Mr. Plante doesn’t stop there. Pathway Genomics is another example. A broad range of genetic testing is done at an accredited laboratory, providing people with information about their genetic risks for cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and other health problems. Genetic markers also can be identified for PKD, allowing people to be proactive about treatment decisions in case they do ever develop the disease.

Risk Considerations

Genetic markers usually do not confirm that a person will develop a particular health problem, with Huntington’s disease being a notable exception. In addition, many people do develop serious diseases without their DNA showing they are at greater risk. Too many factors are involved in most cases to provide any certainty. Nevertheless, knowing about higher risk can help people make decisions about their future and sometimes choose preventive methods. Preventive action sometimes in controversial, such as when a woman chooses to have ovaries removed because she has a genetic marker for ovarian cancer.

Other Factors

People generally already understand that many diseases have a genetic basis. If parents or grandparents had these disorders, their children and grandchildren are more likely to have the genetic mutations for these health problems. Certain types of cancer are primary cases in point, as are illnesses like diabetes and hypertension. However, environmental and behavioral factors tend to play a strong role in many of these diseases.

Pioneering work done in DNA testing allow people to learn a great deal more about various aspects of their own health. They learn which nutritional approaches are best for their genetics and which medications they respond best to. They also can find out which types of exercises are most beneficial for their own genetic type.

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