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Genetic Counselling

Genetic counselling is a process whereby patients at risk of an inherited disorder are advised of the consequences and nature of the potential condition, the likelihood of developing or transmitting it, and the options open to them in regards to treatment, management and family planning. In essence, genetic counselling provides an individual or family with all the information and support they need in relation to the health concerns which run in their family.

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Genetic counselling is a complex process that integrates:

  • The investigation and interpretation of the patient’s family and medical histories.
  • Assessing the probability of an occurrence or recurrence of the condition.
  • Diagnosis of the genetic disorder.
  • Educating and informing patients regarding inheritance, testing, management, prevention and resources.
  • Counselling services that provide professional advice and guidance to encourage families to adapt and adjust their lifestyles to the condition.

Genetic eye conditions such as Retinitis Pigmentosa and macular degeneration are major causes of blindness in children and adults respectively.  Results from genetic testing can be used to detect the possibility of a child inheriting an eye disease.
Genetic counselling services are available throughout Australia and are often based in a specialist paediatric or obstetric department of a hospital. For a full list of Australian Genetic Counselling Services, please click here

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