Ethical issues in susceptibility genetic testing for late-onset neurodegenerative diseases.
Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2018 Dec 07;:
Authors: Manrique de Lara A, Soto-Gómez L, Núñez-Acosta E, Saruwatari-Zavala G, Rentería ME
Genome-wide association studies have revolutionized our understanding of the genetic architecture of complex traits and diseases over the last decade. This knowledge is enabling clinicians, researchers, and direct-to-consumer genetics companies to conduct disease susceptibility testing based on powerful methods such as polygenic risk scoring. However, these technologies raise a set of complex ethical, legal, social, and policy considerations. Here we review and discuss a series of ethical dilemmas associated with susceptibility genetic testing for the two most common late-onset neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, including testing in asymptomatic individuals. Among others, these include informed consent, disclosure of results and unexpected findings, mandatory screening, privacy and confidentiality, and stigma and genetic discrimination. Importantly, appropriate counseling is a deciding factor for the ethical soundness of genetic testing, which poses a challenge for the regulation of these tests and the training of healthcare professionals. As genetic knowledge about these diseases continues growing and genetic testing becomes more widespread, it is increasingly important to raise awareness among researchers, medical practitioners, genetic counselors, and decision makers about the ethical, legal, and social issues associated with genetic testing for polygenic diseases.
PMID: 30525300 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]