Genetic Testing

From prenatal to psychiatry, genetic testing holds the promise of personalized medicine. But our investigations have revealed an industry with oversold claims, misunderstood findings, and potential conflicts of interest.

Are genetic mental health tests causing more harm than good?

Genetic tests to identify the most effective psychiatry drugs are the hot new thing in the race to better treat conditions ranging from depression to attention deficit disorder to anxiety. But a review by NECIR has found that virtually all the evidence that these psychiatric tests work is based on limited studies funded by the companies themselves. And unlike drugs, they are not regulated by the FDA.

After angry moms fault counseling, genetics society cites its ethics code

The National Society of Genetic Counselors issued a statement affirming its ethics code, after a New England Center for Investigative Reporting story featured parents angered at counselors paid by genetic-testing companies.

Federal bill calls for better education for prenatal genetic tests

Worried that too few doctors and pregnant women understand that new prenatal genetic tests can be wrong a significant amount of time, two U.S. Congresswomen from opposite ends of the abortion debate have introduced legislation that would provide warnings about limitations of the screens.

A stunning discovery in genetics — 50,000 new species of tests

New genetic tests are hitting the market everyday. According to a new tally, the total number of tests on the U.S. market is 65,893 — more than quadruple the figure in a voluntary registry.

Campaign aims to educate women and doctors about prenatal genetic tests

Quest Diagnostics, one of nation’s largest diagnostic testing companies, is funding a nationwide campaign by the Perinatal Quality Foundation — a national non-profit dedicated to improving obstetrical car — to raise awareness of cell-free DNA tests. NECIR recently corresponded with Dr. Douglas S. Rabin from Quest and Dr. Mary Norton of the Perinatal Quality Foundation about this new initiative.

New mom says baby is “perfect” despite forecast from counselor

Genetic counselors working for testing labs have bioethicists worried they may repeat company marketing claims without verifying them.

Live chat: What should you know about psychiatric genetic testing?

Join NECIR's Senior Investigative Reporter Beth Daley, Huffington Post Healthy Living Editor Erin Schumaker, Dr. Joseph Goldberg of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Dr. Daniel Carlat of Tufts University School of Medicine, and Dr. John Grohol of PsychCentral to learn more about this emerging industry in mental health care.

Genetic tests’ online claims may not give the full story

A study published recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute led by two Dana-Farber Cancer Institute doctors shows that the vast majority of websites offering genetic tests over-emphasize potential benefits, fail to disclose significant limitations and may not be useful in guiding cancer treatment.

The rise of bio-rights: Patients demand control, get cash for DNA...

Public awareness of the value of genetic data and high drug costs are changing patients’ role in research. Before providing specimens, patients are increasingly looking for compensation or setting other conditions.

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