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Patient Educ Couns. 1997 Sep-Oct;32(1-2):33-40.

Psychological aspects of genetic counselling: a review of the experience with Huntington's disease.

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Department of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Presymptomatic DNA-testing for adult-onset diseases has serious psychological consequences. Here the psychological consequences of presymptomatic DNA-testing for Huntington's disease are reviewed. Both carriers and non-carriers experience emotional reactions after disclosure of their test result. However, up to today no long-term adverse emotional consequences have been revealed. Future research on other adult-onset genetic diseases should provide information about the reactions of children. In genetic counselling, attention should be paid to the reactions of people with a decreased risk. Genetic counselling must focus on the whole family and not on the individual applicant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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