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Home DNA Kits Can Tell You About Disease Risks, But Do You Want To Know?

Home DNA kits like 23andMe or Ancestry are a fun way to learn about your family and your own body. But what happens when exploring your genome uncovers disturbing information about your health?

This hour, we explore the implications of inexpensive commercial genetic testing putting some of that information in the hands of consumers.

We talk with 23andMe about the ApoE4 gene variant that is associated with increased risks of Alzheimer’s. Anyone can now test for whether they have this variant -- but do you really want to know?

An Alzheimer’s researcher and a doctor weigh in.

Home genetic tests are changing the way doctors and patients interact. We talk with a genetic counselor about how to navigate a world where so many people are learning about their genes on their own.

Did you take a home DNA test to learn about future health risks? How did that knowledge affect your life?



Listeners who are interested in participating in clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease research at Yale should contact the Yale Alzheimer's Disease Research Unit

Listeners 55-75 years old may be eligible to participate in the GeneMatch prevention study at Yale mentioned during the show. More information about this specific trial is available here:

The CT Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association is a helpful resource for anyone dealing with Alzheimer's disease:


Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Chion Wolf contributed to this show.

Lucy is the Executive Producer and Host of Connecticut Public's morning talk show, 'Where We Live.' She’s a longtime public radio reporter covering several beats including immigration, juvenile justice and child welfare issues, education, veterans affairs and the military.
Carmen Baskauf was a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show Where We Live, hosted by Lucy Nalpathanchil from 2017-2021. She has also contributed to The Colin McEnroe Show.
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