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Huntington's Disease Genetic Test (cont.)

IN THIS ARTICLE

What Is the Test?

If you have a family member who has Huntington's disease, their blood usually is tested first to identify the changed gene that might run in your family. Then you give a blood sample, which is screened for the gene change. Testing another family member also may be important in case your family's DNA is unusual in some way that might affect the test result.

Is the Test Accurate?

Although this test is highly reliable, no test is 100% accurate. Also, if you test positive, the test can't tell you when you will develop Huntington's disease or how quickly the disease will advance.

Should I Be Tested?

The decision to take the test for Huntington's disease is personal. You may have emotional, financial, and family reasons for taking or not taking the test.

You might choose to be tested because:

  • You want to know whether you will get the disease so you can prepare yourself and your family if your test is positive. You might choose, for example, to set up financial arrangements in a certain way or change other life plans.
  • You want to know because the results will affect whether you marry or have children.
  • You think the anxiety of not knowing whether you will get the disease is worse than the certainty of knowing that you will get it.
  • Your health insurance will pay for all or most of the test. Or, you can afford to pay for the test yourself.

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