Closing the GAP

January 10, 2022

DDC Clinic Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory has officially changed the name of our Amish Genetic Disease Panel to Genetic Awareness Panel, or GAP.

“We felt it was important to change the name to Genetic Awareness Panel to make it more meaningful to our community and to move the focus away from disease and more on knowledge and awareness,” says Dr. Heng Wang, DDC Clinic Medical Director.

“We hope that creating greater awareness will lead to more early diagnoses. All too often, investigating genetic disorders in our Amish patients begins when a patient’s disorder has already progressed significantly,” continues Dr. Wang. “But with early diagnosis, we can have earlier intervention and treatments, improved health outcomes and less burdensome medical costs.”

Even though the name has changed, GAP still remains the same groundbreaking diagnostic tool that can simultaneously test for more than 120 rare genetic conditions found in the Amish population. GAP offers accurate and affordable testing for both children and adults.

When performed as a supplement to state newborn screenings, GAP can detect and provide early diagnosis of many conditions, allowing infants to begin specific treatment sooner. For Amish adults, GAP testing provides awareness on an individual’s predisposition to genetic disorders and identifies if they’re carriers for diseases which could get passed on to their children.

Since its start, GAP has proven to be an important tool, both for diagnosis and identification of risk factors. To date, our clinic’s molecular diagnostics laboratory has used GAP to provide answers to patients throughout the Midwest affected by a variety of conditions including GM3 Synthase Deficiency, Byler Disease and Troyer Syndrome.

We’ve also identified children who are at increased risk for developing a blood clot, heart condition or other issue as an adult, information that is critically important to parents, providing knowledge of health risks that their children may experience in the future.

GAP is a great example of personalized medicine in action. Adults interested in GAP testing need to work through their family physician. For more information on the benefits of GAP, contact us at 440-632-1668.