DNA Mind tests for genetic variations associated with changes in key biological areas that affect mental health. Weaknesses in these areas, together with environmental factors, increase risk for development of disorders related to mental health. The areas of mental health reported in DNA Mind include: Neurodegenerative disorders, mood disorders, and addictive behaviour.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) causes a slight, but noticeable and measurable decline in cognitive abilities, including memory and thinking skills. Individuals with mild cognitive impairment are at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) or another dementia. Altered functioning of specific biological areas has been related to increased risk of MCI as well as late-onset AD.
The genes analysed are APOE, CRP, IL-1, IL-6, TNFA, COMT, BDNF which are involved in either lipid metabolism, inflammation, dopaminergic and neurotrophic processes.
Mood disorders are psychological disorders that are characterized by the elevation or lowering of an individual’s mood, to the extent that it can interfere with everyday life for an extended period of time. The specific mood disorders reported include bipolar, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The genes associated with mood disorders include CRP, IL-1, IL-6, TNFA, MTHFR, MTR, COMT, BDNF, 1A HTR1A, FKBP5, OXTR, CACNA1C, ANK3, GSK3B and are analysed as part of inflammation, methylation, dopaminergic, neurotrophic, serotonergic, stress response, cell signalling and WNT signalling.
Addictive behaviour can manifest in a number of disorders, which are complex in their aetiology and are influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Genetics and addictive areas of the association include behavioural disorders such as eating disorders (binge eating), ‘adrenaline seeking’, and risk-taking behaviour. Substance use disorders include risk of alcohol, nicotine, cannabis and opioid dependence. This area will also report on psychosis response from cannabis use.
The genes associated with addictive behaviours are CHRNA3, CHRNA5, CNR1, FAAH, AKT1, DRD1, DRD2, DRD3, DRD4, COMT, OPRM1, BDNF, SLC6A4 and GABRA2. These genes are involved in cell signalling, endocannabinoid, dopaminergic, neurotrophic, serotonergic and stress response processes.
It may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but genetic testing is a powerful health tool that can give you a deep understanding of how your body works.
At the heart of it is the molecule DNA. Every single cell in our bodies – from our heart to skin, blood and bone – contains a complete set of our DNA. This powerful molecule carries our genetic code and determines all manner of traits, from our eye colour to aspects of our personalities and, of course, our health.
Interestingly, 99.9% of the DNA from two people is identical. It’s the other 0.1% of DNA code sequences that make us unique.
An example of a genetic variation is that one ‘letter’ may be replaced by another. These variations can lead to changes in the resulting proteins being made. For example, a ‘C’ may be changed to a ‘G’ at a point in the genetic code. When the variation affects only one genetic ‘letter’ it is called a 'Single Nucleotide Polymorphism', or 'SNP' (pronounced “snip”).
Variations can however also affect more than one ‘letter’. Genetic tests look at specific chromosomes, genes or proteins, and the variations that occur within them, to make observations about disease or disease risk, body processes or physical traits.