Certain diseases have a genetic basis that can be passed from parents to children. Establishing the presence—or absence—of particular diseased genes helps to create a pedigree that may aid family members in understanding their own risk of acquiring disease.
Genetic testing can be expensive. An alternative to immediate genetic analysis is to store the DNA in a DNA bank. If your healthcare provider determines that your family needs a referral to a medical geneticist, the DNA from the deceased family member can be accessed and your insurance carrier may cover the cost of analysis. (Check with your physician and health insurance provider for more details.)
Dr. Wigren can provide resources for laboratories that test for specific genes. You can also research clinical labs that can test for particular genes here.