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Has anyone had their doctor run this $19,000.00 test?

My MS doctor closed her practice, and I am trying to find a neurologist that works with MS. I found one locally and explained that I had been on the three medications I use and had been using them over 10 years. He assured me he would have no problem. As he left the room he said he wanted to check my blood for copper. I ask where to get the blood drawn and he said they would come to my house. I thought that strange.

I saw him 2 weeks ago. Yesterday I got a letter and a form from Athena Diagnostics. It was a form for me to fill out and send money before getting tested, and I could call and they would tell me what I had to pay up front. I did that and the woman said my part was $600.00 and the rest of the $19,000.00 would be billed under Medicare. I ask the lady what it was testing and she said DNA genetics.

Needless to say but I will not be doing that test that he did not even have the care or nerve to tell me what it was and why I needed the test. Thank goodness my MS mind is still pretty dang sharp. I have 3 medications that I have with my former doc at UTSW MS Center and it now looks like I will have to go to my children again to drive me to my appointments there. I just thought this was weird and want to know if anyone else has had a doc want to do DNA testing for a tiny price of $19,000.00.

  1. I'm not familiar with a DNA genetics test for copper since copper is a heavy metal. Could it be that the name of the company was DNA Genetics and that in addition to doing DNA testing that they also did heavy metal testing? The reason I ask is that my husband worked in construction and had exposure to a lot of heavy metals. He retained a lot in his system over the years and some of them were thought to have contributed to his neurological symptoms. One of the tests he had done was for Copper, and yes, it was very expensive, though I was fortunate that insurance paid for it. Many heavy metals become stored in tissues and become toxic over time to the nervous system so if you worked in construction at all, that may be why he's asking.

    1. No, I never worked construction.

      I was tested for copper before and it was just by blood draw at the lab and was not that expensive. It was also just slightly over recommended for a normal read.

      In the 90's I had a massive exposure of long duration of organophosphates and was given full toxicology tests several times and stayed under the care of the toxicology department at UT for a couple of years. Quite a bit of that time in the hospital. It certainly was not a $19,000 test for just copper. I later received my MS diagnosis after all my symptoms and lesions steered straight into MS.

      I just found it odd that since I am a 76 year old woman what I could gain from the test. Could be since I was moving from UTSW MS Center he could have been convinced I was just an old woman doctor shopping for drugs. I have been on the exact same three medications for 10 years. I carried documentation from UTSW MS Center showing my meds history.

      Thanks for posting to me. I am back a patient at UTSW.

      1. An abundance of copper can be an indication of Wilson's disease. 2 of my cousin's had this. Initially, the symptoms can seem like MS.

        1. Vicky,
          Thanks for making me aware of Wilson's disease. I had never heard of it, I checked my past levels of copper that have been run several times at UTSW MS Center and find my copper is a teeny, tiny bit elevated and is of no concern.

          My journey started with a mass exposure to organophosphates and a situation that finally involved the health department of Texas. That was over 20 years ago and has never been involved in my MS diagnosis.

          Thanks for your reply. I live alone with my Pomeranian and just to see someone replies to my post makes me happy. I know someone is there with me and know I am alive and doing the best I can and I am not alone. I have friends just a key stroke away.

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