December 8, 2007

Medicine Today: Testing for disease can change lives

My latest from The Observer here.A taste:Huntington's Disease is a neurological disorder inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern such that there is a one-in-two chance each child of an affected parent will get the disease. Symptoms are progressive and begin with uncontrolled body movements, decline of coordination, and personality changes. The disease is physically and neurologically crippling, and eventually fatal.Testing for Huntington's is particularly complicated from a bioethical perspective because of two very distinct differences when compared to genetic testing for many other diseases: Huntington's is late-onset (most commonly in the late 40s/early 50s) and the test does not reveal a predisposition but rather a certainty....