Genetic Testing for Fabry Disease: What to Expect?

Genetic Testing for Fabry Disease: What to Expect?
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One way to confirm a diagnosis of Fabry disease is through genetic testing.

What is genetic testing?

Genetic testing is a medical test to determine whether a person has changes in their genes or chromosomes that could be disease causing.

Your doctor will discuss with you whether you need a genetic test. You should talk to a genetic counselor prior to getting a genetic test to make sure you have discussed the risks and benefits of this test.

Genetics of Fabry disease

Mutations in the GLA gene cause Fabry disease. This gene provides cells with the instructions necessary to make the alpha-galactosidase A enzyme. This enzyme breaks down a fatty substance called globotriaosylceramide (Gb3 or Gl-3). When this enzyme does not work properly because of mutations, Gb3 builds up in cells and tissues, causing disease symptoms.

What happens during genetic testing?

Your doctor will arrange for you to give a small blood sample at your local clinic or hospital. The clinic or hospital will then send it to a laboratory to check for mutations in the GLA gene.

A laboratory report with test results will be sent to your doctor in a few days to a few weeks.

What happens after genetic testing?

Your doctor and genetic counselor will meet with you to discuss the results of your genetic test, explaining them. Depending on the results, your doctor may want to run additional tests, or discuss treatment options.

Your doctor and genetic counselor may also recommend that some family members be tested. Fabry is a heritable disease, and most cases are inherited by a child from their parents, although rare cases can occur as a result of new or “de novo” mutations appearing for a first time.

 

Last updated: May 28, 2020

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Fabry Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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