Written by me for a domestic violence site (since defunct)
A new DNA prediction product, “Proove Opioid Risk test” (Proove Biosciences, site 404 now), is now on the market. As this is a “lab test” and not “peer reviewed,” many doctors aren’t so sure of the test’s efficacy, so where does the truth lie? Let’s take a look at how that particular test works.
The Proove test is actually a combination of questions put to the patient along with a DNA test. In my opinion, the test fails right there: undoubtedly, these questions will have a subjective response. In other words, patients may lie (most probably WILL lie if they’re aware that certain responses may damn them to “addiction susceptibility.”) And then how is veracity proved? Think Pop’s going to admit he’s been in and out of rehab since he was 12?
Addiction genes & drunk mice
According to an article on USAnews.com, an allele of the Dopamine Receptor gene is found more frequently in the blood of an alcoholic or a cocaine abuser. Moreover, scientists have identified a gene that causes mice to drink THREE TIMES more alcohol than those without the mutation! No wonder when I passed the nearby genetic lab last night, all I heard were hundreds of tiny, high voices yelling “Me next!” and “Shutup, Minnie, you got YOURS last night.”
Not to mention that a certain gene combination is found in non-smokers, not in smokers.
A doctor at the Indiana School of Medicine claimed in March that they’d discovered 11 genes that could definitely identify alcoholism: another doctor replied in high dudgeon “the researchers demonstrated that the predictive ability of their test was not better than tossing a coin.” He went on to say that the Indiana docs hadn’t taken into account that if a gene appears more frequently, how MUCH more frequently? And these particular doctors had damned themselves by admitting that the average risk score was 64 for alcoholics, 62 for non-drinkers. Such a minute difference cannot be used therefore to predict alcoholism (or lack thereof) with any measure of certainty – we’re not docs and even we see that much…