The CEO of a Texas based biotech company, Craig Benson, was a father who thought that his five year old daughter needed new glasses. It turned out that she had the rare, and eventually fatal Batten’s disease. Batten’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system that leads to blindness, seizures, mental and physical impairment, and, eventually, premature death in the teens or early 20s.
Craig Benson has made it his mission to determine a way to develop DNA testing that will help potential parents determine if they are carriers of such debilitating diseases as Batten’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and other immune deficiency related conditions. For less than $400, parents can be checked to see if they are carriers of any diseases and whether the combination of their DNA and that of their partner make it likely that offspring would be born with any of the hundreds of conditions that can be picked up via this test. Source: ABC NEWS.
Batten’s disease affects an estimated 2 to 4 of every 100,000 U.S. born babies. It can be diagnosed by a neurologist with a number of tests including electrical studies of the eyes. Source: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/batten/detail_batten.htm