Santa Fe, NM (PRWEB) April 27, 2009
Are you genetically susceptible to breast cancer? Do you have an inherited risk for heart attack or Alzheimer's disease? A DNA home testing kit from Matrix Genomics, a personal genomics company, can identify your propensity for developing common hereditary health conditions, enabling you and your doctor to develop a personalized medicine plan for preventative care that's tailored to your unique DNA profile. The company's direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing services are now available online via their newly launched website: http://www.matrixgenomics.com .
"Genetic testing isn't a panacea, but knowing your genetic risk factors for a specific inherited disease or condition empowers you to take preventative interventions that may improve your health," says Larry Corder, PhD, President and CEO of Matrix Genomics. He adds that home DNA testing isn't a substitute for traditional health evaluation and conventional lab tests. "Ideally, a knowledgeable medical professional should be involved in the process of ordering our DNA tests and interpreting the results, which are comprehensive and complex," says Corder.
The hallmark of Matrix Genomics' approach to genetic testing is their proprietary risk analysis methodology. Corder notes that many DTC genetic testing companies estimate risk by isolating single genes or by multiplying odds ratios together based on a review of diverse unrelated published studies. "Individually, these studies are notoriously inaccurate," states Corder. Matrix Genomics, on the other hand, employs the Grade of Membership, or GoM, method of analysis, which yields much more accurate results. This approach helps Matrix Genomics define a range of inherited risk scores based on multiple gene interactions within a network of relevant genes, giving the customer a more meaningful report of their risk level for developing a given disease.
"The genetic basis of common diseases is complex," says Dr. Elizabeth Corder, PhD, Scientific Director of Matrix Genomics. "Many factors influence how a gene works or who will get a disease and when. Polymorphisms in several different genes can, together, lead to the same disease, as is the case in some forms of Alzheimer's disease," says Dr. Elizabeth Corder.
Doctor Corder has been at the forefront of Alzheimer's gene research for over a decade. She has conducted extensive research on the disease and was the lead author on the landmark 1993 Science magazine article that identified APOE e4 gene dose effect on Alzheimer's disease. While three genes on different chromosomes had been associated with early onset familial Alzheimer's, Dr. Corder's research found that a fourth gene, located on Chromosome 19, codes for a protein called APOE. APOE e4 is now considered a susceptibility gene for AD that multiplies risk approximately three-fold (one copy of APOE e4) to eight-fold (two copies). This finding continues to be the one established genetic risk factor for late onset AD in general populations. Yet, this one gene does not fully describe the risk for AD for all individuals, which is why Dr. Corder employs the multiple gene interaction approach that examines the complex and subtle interactions between a number of candidate genes to define risk more accurately.
"Having a better understanding of one's risk for developing hereditary diseases can help a person and his or her family make better, more informed decisions about the future and discuss personalized treatment options with their doctor to either slow the progression of symptoms or to take steps to help prevent the onset of the disease through lifestyle improvements or adherence to frequent diagnostic testing," explains Dr. Corder. She strongly encourages customers to seek their doctor's advice about their test results. "A positive result and elevated risk score don't necessarily mean a disease will develop. Genetic tests provide only one piece of information about one's susceptibility to disease. Other factors, such as family background, medical history, and environment also need to be considered."
Matrix Genomics offers genetic consulting services to medical providers to facilitate the interpretation process and discuss the best course of action. Currently, the company offers genetic DNA testing kits for Alzheimer's Disease, Breast Cancer and Heart Attack risk. Prices range from $349.00 for a single home DNA test to $679.00 for a package of all three kits.
Matrix Genomics is committed to improving health outcomes through personal genomics. As new gene associations with genetic disorders are discovered and Dr. Corder perfects the analysis of associated risk, new genetic tests will be added to Matrix Genomics' online test kits. Matrix Genomics believes the future of genetic testing holds much promise for enhancing medical care and life expectancy.
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