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Son of Thunderbirds creator undergoes gene testing to discover likelihood of developing Alzheimer's

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 19, 2013

looking back: Gerry Anderson and his son Jamie with a model Thunderbird 2.

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JAMIE Anderson, whose dad was the creator of Thunderbirds, has discovered he may be unlikely to develop Alzheimer's, thanks to pioneering gene testing.

His father Gerry Anderson, who also created Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, suffered from the disease since 2010 and it worsened until his death in December last year.

Because of this, Jamie has recently undergone a gene test with company 23andMe to find out if he would be susceptible to the disease.

The results of his test, which analyses samples of saliva, show he has a 60% lower than average chance of developing Alzheimer's.

"I just wanted to know," said Jamie, from Stinchcombe.

"Some people might argue they wouldn't want to know, but I'm of the opinion that you are better off knowing so you can start to make lifestyle changes where necessary."

The test, which cost $99, looks across your entire gene pool and highlights those specifically linked to certain diseases.

It can then analyse how likely a person is to develop a certain disease or illness in their lifetime.

Jamie added: "I was anxious when I got the result back, for sure.

"It also showed that I have a one per cent chance of getting throat or stomach cancer, the average is half a per cent.

"This kind of cancer is largely caused by smoking and binge drinking, and I do neither. However, I know that packaged meats can also be a cause of cancer so I've cut those out of my diet now.

"That is what all this is about in my view.

"Finding out the information, and then making small changes to reduce your chances of getting ill in the future.

"I think this will be standard practice in the future. I think it will be done at birth to all babies.

"My mum, Mary, wasn't sure about the testing at first.

"But she is all for it now and is being tested next week."

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