Simple DNA Test Can Detect Common Neurological Conditions

A relatively simple DNA test—which involves whole genome sequencing—can diagnose common neurological disorders, providing people with clarity and ending uncertainty, a new study says. As Linda Geddes writes for The Guardian, “Historically, obtaining a definitive diagnosis for conditions including Huntingdon’s disease and some forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has been difficult, because, although the cause of the symptoms is genetic, knowing which test to carry out has resulted in delays of many years.” This type of whole genome sequencing has been used for various other reasons, but never before for “‘repeat expansion disorders” (which are relatively common, affecting one in 3,000 people) because those conditions can be “difficult to quantify.” Thankfully, the study—led by Queen Mary University of London, Illumina (a biotechnology company), University College London and Genomics England with NHS England—means that one simple test, rather than numerous, may provide answers for people struggling with a “diagnostic odyssey.” Read more at The Guardian.

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