SAN DIEGO, Apr 17, 2015 — Leslie Ordal, M.Sc., a field genetic counselor at Pathway Genomics, answers some frequently asked questions:
Are all genetic changes harmful?
No. In fact, everyone has genetic changes – it’s why we’re all different. Some genetic changes, called pathogenic variants, can be harmful to an individual, and in some cases, to their children if passed down.
Many other genetic changes; however, are quite common and have no known effect on health – we call these benign variants, and they’re just part of natural human variation. Some genetic changes can even be beneficial, such as those associated with reduced risk for certain diseases like Alzheimer disease.