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New genetic test can help pave the way for a healthy journey in life

As parents, it’s a given that the health of our kids is of the utmost importance to us all. Having a child who is healthy and happy is the ultimate goal for most of us, and we would do anything to pave the way for a happy and healthy life for our children.

Imagine if you could have a glimpse into the future to see how your child’s health evolves as they get older. Now imagine learning that your newborn might develop a particular health condition in their lifetime. Being forewarned with the information means that you’re able to commence proactive treatment, or make lifestyle changes, to minimise the impact of that condition or even prevent it from becoming a health problem at all.

Dr Glenn Bennett, Clinical Services Director at specialist Australian pathology practice, Genepath, says that focusing on preventive health is the new frontier in genetic testing. “With an increasing number of genetic conditions being discovered year-on-year, coupled with many women starting a family later in life, genetic testing for health screening, particularly in newborns, can play a major role in a national preventive health approach.

“Early detection can literally be life changing. The earlier a condition is detected, the sooner treatment or intervention can begin.  This can make the world of difference for many genetic conditions, preventing future disability and even perhaps death from the condition.”

Genepath has developed a revolutionary new genetic screening test for newborns that is able to detect more than 60 different treatable genetic conditions with one simple mouth swab and can be administered in the comfort of your own home.

The NextGen test, developed over four years by Genepath in its Sydney lab, has been designed to complement the existing newborn screening offered in Australia – the ‘heel-prick’ test – which screens for 35 genetic conditions. The NextGen test screens for more than 60 conditions, including 50 conditions that are not currently screened for in Australia. Babies who have both the heel-prick test and the NextGen test will have had the most comprehensive genetic screening available in Australia.

The conditions the NextGen test screens for include some of the genetic causes of sudden cardiac death in children (Long QT syndrome, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome), and one of the major causes of preventable heart attack in young adults (Familial Hypercholesterolaemia). It can also identify Cystic Fibrosis and is one of the most comprehensive tests for Cystic Fibrosis currently available in Australia.

You can find out more about the NextGen test, including a complete list of all of the genetic conditions screened for, and how to order the test kit, on the Genepath website: www.genepathlabs.com.au

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