Carrier Testing for Childhood Conditions

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In certain types of inherited conditions, each parent may have a non-working copy of a gene. The parents are called carriers because they are healthy, but if a child gets a non-working copy of the gene from each parent, the child will have the condition.

 

Some labs offer tests that screen for 250 or more of these inherited conditions. It is also possible to order tests for just one condition, like when a family member has a rare inherited condition not included on a standard test.

 

Things to know:

Knowing the health of your family can still be important even if you have carrier testing for a large number of conditions.  Not all conditions are included on these tests, and not all DNA causes of the conditions will be found by every test.

 

Many of the conditions on these carrier screens cannot be treated. Would-be parents can choose, however, to test their pregnancies, or to consider in vitro fertilization in order to test embryos prior to pregnancy.

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