Pathway Genomics Inc., a U.S. based genetic testing company, announced the immediate availability of its personal Genetic Health Report. This customized and innovative personal genetic health report contains information on more than 70 health conditions, including pharmacogenetics (prescription medication response), propensity for complex disease, and carrier status (pre-pregnancy health). The Genetic Health Report involves a quick, simple and convenient process for gathering an individual’s DNA, and provides a comprehensive, easy-to-read, action-oriented report, now available in PDF format, as well as one-on-one follow-up with an on-staff certified genetic counselor for those who have questions. Pathway Genomics provides a controlled and secure environment for genetic analysis through its wholly owned onsite laboratory that is both federal CLIA and California State licensed. One can order a Genetic Health Report via the web at www.pathway.com.
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The Value of Knowing
Pathway Genomics’ Genetic Health Report provides a person with a wealth of actionable information concerning their predisposition to certain health events—from chronic conditions like asthma to diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and diabetes, among others. With this information, people can make informed decisions concerning their lifestyle choices and work with their health-care provider on building a truly personalized health care program. For instance, the actionable information contained in the health report can range from encouraging a person to talk with their doctor about preventative measures one can take, to learning about one’s family history and how lifestyle choices might influence disease onset. And even though having a genetic marker or SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) associated with a health event does not mean that an individual will develop a certain disease or condition, personalized information about one’s genetic “blueprint” can help a person with present and future life behavior decisions.
The Pathway Genomics Genetic Health Report contains two other areas of focus: responsiveness or sensitivity to prescription medications (pharmacogenetics) and pre-pregnancy health.
Pharmacogenetics (Prescription Medication Response)
Not all prescription medications are equally effective for all people. In fact, some medications can trigger adverse reactions in certain individuals. Research indicates that there are 106,000 deaths and 2.2 million serious events caused by adverse drug reactions in the US each year.1 These harmful drug reactions are responsible for 6.7% of hospital admissions2 and are due to how an individual tolerates certain drugs. For example, it’s been found that approximately 30% of the nearly five million patients taking Plavix (a drug used to protect against heart attack or stroke)3 do not metabolize the drug correctly because of genetic variation in their liver enzyme. This genetic condition places those individuals at about a 50% higher risk of heart attack or other cardiovascular issues, such as stroke4. Thus, by knowing one’s sensitivity to prescription medications like Plavix, Coumadin (a highly prescribed blood thinner), and other medications, a person can work more effectively with their doctor to determine optimal medical treatment.
Pathway Genomics’ other pharmacogenetic responses include:
- Abacavir Hypersensitivity – Ziagen – HIV/AIDS
- Caffeine Metabolism
- Carbamazepine Hypersensitivity – epilepsy/bipolar disorder
- Clopidrogel Metabolism – Plavix - antiplatelet
- Methotrexate Toxicity – antimetabolite/antifolate for cancer/autoimmune disease
- Statin Induced Myopathy – muscle pain/weakness
- Statin protection against myocardial infarction – heart attack
- Tamoxifen Response – breast cancer
- Warfarin Metabolism – Coumadin - anticoagulant
Some genes are recessive and Pathway Genomics currently checks for hundreds of mutations linked to nearly 40 recessive genetic disorders. Even if a person does not directly experience a specific health condition, their genes may contain genetic markers that, when passed down to offspring, may trigger that condition. This is commonly referred to as carrier status and is part of Pathway Genomics’ pre-pregnancy screening. Today, the company checks for more than 300 markers and 37 carrier diseases. If both parents are carriers of a particular genetic marker, each child of the couple has a 25 percent chance of inheriting two copies of the disease-causing variant and developing the disease. By understanding this information, couples can make more-informed family-planning decisions. The following is an abbreviated list of conditions reported.
SOURCE Pathway Genomics Inc.
- Bloom syndrome
- Cystic fibrosis
- Gaucher disease
- Nonsyndromic hereditary hearing loss
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Pompe disease
- Tay-Sachs disease