Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: where and how does genetic counseling fit?

DNA scientists

Abstract

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing for disease ranges from well-validated diagnostic and predictive tests to ‘research’ results conferring increased risks. While being targeted at public curious about their health, they are also marketed for use in reproductive decision-making or management of disease. By virtue of being ‘direct-to-consumer’ much of this testing bypasses traditional healthcare systems.

We argue that direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies should make genetic counseling available, pre-test as well as post-test. While we do not advocate that mandatory genetic counseling should gate-keep access to direct-to-consumer genetic testing, if the testing process has the potential to cause psychological distress, then companies have a responsibility to provide support and should not rely on traditional healthcare systems to pick up the pieces.

FULL TEXT: Personalized Medicine

Lisa Genova

Alzheimer’s doesn’t have to be your brain’s destiny, says neuroscientist and author of “Still Alice,” Lisa Genova. She shares the latest science investigating the disease — and some promising research on what each of us can do to build a brain resistant to Alzheimer’s.

Resveratrol + exercise over 65 years of age

Abstract

Older men (n = 12) and women (n = 18) 65–80 years of age completed twelve weeks of exercise and took either a placebo or resveratrol (500 mg/day) to test the hypothesis that resveratrol treatment combined with exercise would increase mitochondrial density, muscle fatigue resistance, and cardiovascular function more than exercise alone.

Contrary to our hypothesis, aerobic and resistance exercise coupled with resveratrol treatment did not reduce cardiovascular risk further than exercise alone. However, exercise added to resveratrol treatment improved the indices of mitochondrial density, and muscle fatigue resistance, more than placebo and exercise treatments.

In addition, subjects that were treated with resveratrol had an increase in knee extensor muscle peak torque (8%), average peak torque (14%), and power (14%) after training, whereas exercise did not increase these parameters in the placebo-treated older subjects. Furthermore, exercise combined with resveratrol significantly improved mean fiber area and total myonuclei by 45.3% and 20%, respectively, in muscle fibers from the vastus lateralis of older subjects.

Together, these data indicate a novel anabolic role of resveratrol in exercise-induced adaptations of older persons and this suggests that resveratrol combined with exercise might provide a better approach for reversing sarcopenia than exercise alone.

FULL TEXT: J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci

EDITOR’S NOTE: ‘sarcopenia’ is muscle-wasting.

CRISPR: Five (5) levels of difficulty

CRISPR is a new area of biomedical science that enables gene editing and could be the key to eventually curing diseases like autism or cancer. WIRED has challenged biologist Neville Sanjana to explain this concept to five (5) different people …