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J Affect Disord. 2002 Sep;71(1-3):189-93.

Attitudes towards future testing for bipolar disorder susceptibility genes: a preliminary investigation.

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Division of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, University of Birmingham, Queen Elizabeth Psychiatric Hospital, Birmingham B15 2QZ, UK.


The discovery of susceptibility genes for the major psychiatric illnesses may lead to the development of presymptomatic and prenatal tests. In a preliminary study we assessed the attitudes of 147 bipolar patients, 90 attendees at their family doctor (GP) and 32 psychiatrists to the possible development of genetic tests for bipolar disorder susceptibility genes. Our results suggest that patients and the public will look favourably on the development of presymptomatic (but not prenatal) testing for bipolar disorder susceptibility genes. Psychiatrists, who will have to administer such tests, appear significantly more cautious.

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