Should you try a home genetic test kit?

A direct-to-consumer test can uncover risks for developing some diseases. But will it help you improve your health?


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What if you could take a test at home to predict your risk of getting certain diseases, like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's? It's a question you may face now that the FDA has given the green light to third-party direct-to-consumer (DTC) test kits that look for genetic risk information.

"Increasingly, people want to explore their own medical data," says Dr. Robert Green, a Harvard Medical School professor and geneticist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, who studies the medical, behavioral, and economic outcomes associated with genomic medicine (for more about his work, visit www.genomes2people.org).

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