What is Genetic Predisposition?
Genetic predisposition, or genetic susceptibility, is the increased likelihood of developing a certain disease based on the genetics of a person. It can be identified by looking at a person’s family history or at any variations of their genetics. It must be noted that while predisposition can lead to the occurrence of disease, it is never the cause of it.
How Predisposition Affects Us
Genetic predisposition occurs when genetic variations are passed from parent to child, and are considered to be different from the ‘normal’ genetic forms most people have. Because of these variations, in combination with other contributing factors, a person can and will be left vulnerable to all sorts of diseases. Examples of these factors can be:
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Hormonal changes
- Long-term stress
- Heavy smoking
It must be noted that a predisposition is not the same as inherited disease. Having a genetic predisposition simply means a person has a chance of getting a disease. Whereas having an inherited disease means already having it upon birth. One should always consider getting tested to have a measure of certainty. While there are plenty of different tests for genetic testing, here are three types of testing methods that are used to understand a genetic predisposition.
Single Gene Testing
A test that looks for any changes in a single gene. These are usually ordered by doctors who believe a parent or child has a specific symptom, or set of symptoms, of a specific condition. It is also done if a family is known to have a genetic mutation.
This is a single test that looks for changes in many genes, with the tests being grouped into categories according to the doctor’s medical concern. These groupings can range from normal conditions, like epilepsy, or high risk ones, such as breast cancer.
Whole Genetic Testing
A large-scale test that involves checking all of a patient’s genes related to their condition or conditions (Exome Sequencing), or checking the DNA as well (Genome Sequencing). Doctors order these when single or panel tests do not lead to a diagnosis.
Predisposition and Recidivism Rates
For the longest time various scientists and researchers have delved into genetics and neurochemistry to find a direct link between genes and destructive behavior. Due to the prevalence of crime and violence in society, there is a search for predictors, genetic markers, or psychological causes that lead to criminal acts and high recidivism rates. What was found though was how control and emotional disorders (such as depression, suicide, and violence) are a result of variances in brain activity, chemical imbalances, gene expression, and environmental influences. Thus it can be said that genetic predisposition may lead to criminal acts of violence and higher recidivism rates, but it is not the sole cause. Currently scientists and researchers are still debating on the subject.
Take a genetic test to help identify any predispositions you may have and evaluate your risks of developing a disease or diseases. Precision Recovery can help you take better care of yourself and help reduce your risks.