"23 and Me" is the name of a clinical research trial that is looking at the genetic make-up of people with Parkinsons and also those without the disease. Participation is easy - you just send in a sample of your saliva - and soon an overwhelming amount of genetic testing results are e-mailed back to you. Participation in the study is free if you're a Person With Parkinsons (PWP).
Results from the study include specific genetic information telling if you have certain gene variants that are linked to Parkinsons. They also assess your risk for developing other conditions based on genetic testing of your saliva. There is informaton given on way too many ailments to list here, but some of the "biggies" that were assessed include breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimers.
The genetic information is also used to find distant family members that share one or more of the same DNA segments. It's your choice whether or not you persue these relationships any further than just receiving the test results. I'm personally not interested in family ancestry, but have a cousin who is passionate about researching family lines. I put her in touch with some of the relatives that were ID'd by the "23 and Me" testing and I'm now her favorite cousin!
Finally, surveys are available for you to fill out on a wide range of topics. You have the option of participating in them or not. But by participating, researchers receive important data.
The genetic testing done by through the "23 and Me" clinical trial is free for PWP's, but anyone else who wants to have the genetic testing done can do so for $299. For more information about this fascinating study, go to www.23andMe.com.
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