Science still nascent to detect diseases by genome scans: Experts

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London, Dec 1 (UNI) People buying genetic tests in the hope of knowing any possible genes linked diseases such as Alzheimer's or breast cancer are wasting their money, researchers have warned.

Medical experts have asserted that the science was still too preliminary to provide any meaningful information about it.

There was a risk of people being misled about the results of such genome-wide scans that could make them either over-anxious about being labelled ''high risk'', or over-confident that they were at low risk of a particular disease.

''The risk is the anxiety caused but I also think there is a risk of false reassurance, for example to be told that you are at low risk of heart disease which may lead someone to carry on smoking. It's not enough to say that these tests provide useful information because actually people taking these tests believe that the information they are getting are a genetic prediction,'' The Telegraph quoted Genetics counsellor Christine Patch as saying.

Several companies have entered the market offering to scan a person's complete genome for up to 500,000 genetic ''markers'' that can indicate anything from the risk of heart disease to ethnic origins.

The Human Genetics Commission was planning to publish a report calling on the Government to make sure the tests used by these companies go through a more rigorous assessment process.


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