Risks and benefits of DNA testing for neurogenetic disorders.

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Risks and benefits of DNA testing for neurogenetic disorders.

Semin Neurol. 1999;19(3):253-9

Authors: Bird TD

DNA testing for mutations in genes causing neurogenetic disorders is becoming a common practice in clinical neurology. The tests are highly sensitive and specific. They are especially valuable in establishing diagnoses in symptomatic patients. These DNA tests are also used in asymptomatic persons at risk for genetic diseases who wish to determine whether or not they have inherited an abnormal gene. There are risks and benefits to such asymptomatic, predictive testing. A number of complex issues need to be considered including precipitation of depression, prenatal diagnosis and testing of children, impact on insurance and employment, legal aspects, possible third-party coercion, and an understanding of each test’s limitations. Therefore, these DNA tests need to be used with careful clinical judgment and in the context of each individual patient and family.

PMID: 12194381 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]