It’s September and that means one thing – CMT Awareness Month. During the month of September I will be using my blog to play a part in raising Awareness with an “alphabet challenge” – blogging a letter / key word almost every day. Today is brought to you by the letter D. I hope my month of blogging will help you to learn more about CMT – the most common but least well known hereditary nerve disorder. And I hope this will also help to raise funds for the Charcot Marie Tooth Association to support its efforts to find a treatment for CMT. You can join me in learning more about CMT by clicking onto www.cmtausa.org and of course a donation would be wonderful too!
DNA. It’s All In The Genes.
A flashback to high school AP biology, and learning all about cytosine, guanine, thymine and adenine. I am dusting off the cobwebs and hitting the refresh button when it comes to scientific reading and understanding, as I recently had nutritional genetic testing done (thanks to Curoseven). 10 pages of densely scientific reading popped into my inbox last week. I am still digesting it all, so to speak. But it is fascinating stuff.
I admit it – I am fascinated by data and science and trying to better understand my body. This is a very new field – genetic testing to develop personalised exercise and nutrition planning. And it is very unproven. But it still intrigues me enough to have the screening done!
The testing screened four different gene locations to determine the characteristics of the variants at the location and the impacts on metabolism, energy use and storage, and exercise responsiveness. In particular the results try to address, by typical factors:
– Where the body likely stores fat
– The most efficient form of exercise
– How fat is used by the body for exercise
– How carbohydrates influence weight gain
– How much exercise you need a week to maintain or lose weight
– What type of metabolic pathways you have at a cellular level
Fascinating stuff. And perfect timing to get the report as I am planning for a complete October reset of my nutrition.
Now… How reliable are the results? Well, this is where the little that I know when it comes to having a genetic condition like CMT comes in handy.
There is currently a very large scale genetic project underway in the CMT community (see more on the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network) to better understand why it is that people with the same gene type of CMT show different severity of impact from CMT. In other words – to try to understand genetically if how one gene influences another, or what causes a gene to be more pronounced in one person than another.
I am not sure if the testing I received from Curoseven is the “set in stone” answer to how to eat and exercise optimally – as one gene alone does not make a strand of DNA (or person). But it is definitely a great guide.
The magic of being able to understand and decode our DNA. Gotta love science!
By the way…
If you have CMT I strongly encourage you to sign up for the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network. This database will be the patient registry that is used when trials of treatments for CMT are ready. And only through successful clinical trials – which rely on large sampling to happen – can viable treatment for CMT happen. Learn more about the Inherited Neuropathies Consortium at the National Institutes for Health and register HERE.
It’s CMT Awareness Month. Today’s post was brought to you by the letter “D” – DNA. You can learn more about CMT and donate to support the search for a treatment for this at present incurable progressive degenerative nerve disease at www.cmtausa.org. Thank you.