New genetic test for heart conditions offers diagnostic potential

19 February 2016

A new genetic test for hereditary heart conditions has been developed by researchers in the UK.

The British Heart Foundation-backed study, led by Imperial College London, looked at a particular group of genes to develop a method of reliably testing for all known inherited heart condition genes with a single blood sample.

Previous genetic tests for inherited heart conditions looked at a smaller number of genes and were therefore only able to identify specific conditions, meaning the new test is quicker and more affordable, allowing patients to be diagnosed quickly and accurately.

Genetic testing on family members of people with hereditary heart conditions can help to identify people who carry the faulty gene responsible for the condition, allowing steps to be taken to reduce the risk of sudden death.

Lead researcher Dr James Ware of Imperial College London and the Royal Brompton Hospital said: "Without a genetic test, we often have to keep the whole family under regular surveillance for many years, because some of these conditions may not develop until later in life."

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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