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Genes testing centre gives lifestyle advice

2nd January 2007

A newly opened genetic testing centre is examining gene variations to help assess people at risk of suffering from serious diseases.

The Genetic Health clinic tests patients for genes linking them to diseases such as Alzheimer's and some kinds of cancer and provides lifestyle advice to help people lower their risk of developing the diseases.

A Daily Mail reporter attended the clinic for tests and found that his particular gene variation put him at greater risk of developing cancer.

The reporter also had a gene variation called ApoE4, a gene associated with developing Alzheimer's. The article cites research suggesting people with ApoE4 are 400 per cent more likely to develop Alzheimer's than people without the gene.

"The ApoE4 variation does put you at a bit of an increased risk for heart disease as well," Dr Paul Jenkins, a consultant physician at London's St Bartholomew's Hospital and a member of the medical team behind Genetic Health, told the reporter.

"That's because it affects the way cholesterol is handled."

According to the Alzheimer's Society, dementia affects 750,000 people in the UK with 55 per cent suffering from Alzheimer's.