You Are Not My Genetic Counselor, But Neither Are Any of these Self-Styled Uncertified Genetic Counselors on the Internet. The latest fad/quackwatch for desperate parents and patients dealing with
disorders or chronic illness seems to be running raw data from consumer genetics testing through an app (or paying hundreds of dollars more for a "
) to check for polymorphisms. Consumers get back lists (helpfully color-coded like traffic lights) of normal, heterozygous, and homozygous gene pairs, but how common are these variations to begin with (setting aside how often they are actually expressed as illness)?
Most popular seem to be "methylation pathway analysis" reports, that look like this sample here
(provided by the test site).
also provides reports for genes grouped under further categories like "mitochondrial" (ATP5g3, ATP5c1, COX5a, COX6c, NDUFS3, NDUFS7, NDUFS8, UQCRC2), IgE (FCER1a, Il-13 C1112T, DARC, IL13, RAD50, C3, SOCS-1 -820G>T), etc.
How common are polymorphisms for everyone
, healthy or sick, neurotypical or ASD? (Setting aside the issue of how often polymorphisms are actually expressed as illness by any given individual, or whether this info is of any use for diagnosis or treatment by physicians--those would be worth their own questions, but I'm specifically just asking about "abnormal" test reports.) There is enough info on out there accessible to a layperson that, for instance, I can determine that a very large part of the population (variable ethnic group) has a +/- mutation on the infamous (and widely studied) MTHFR, but I'm having trouble finding information on whether anyone who gets back these reports should actually alert their physician about the yellows and smatterings of reds you see in the reports people are sharing online.