Useful Info
Genetic counselling is the process of providing information about the medical and family implications of a specific disease in a clear and non-directive manner. Such counselling aims to help individuals make informed decisions about planning a family, taking part in screening programmes and accepting prophylactic therapies. Genetic counselling may be provided by a medical geneticist, a specialist nurse, or a clinician with particular skills in this area, such as an obstetrician or paediatrician. Perception of genetic risks clearly depends on perceived hazard. For example, a 5% (or 1:20) risk of genetic disease may be perceived as low if the disease is treatable, but unacceptably high if not.
Clinical genetics services
Medical  geneticist 
Diagnosis and management of genetic disease, assessment of genetic risk, managing screening programmes, interpretation of genetic test results. Subspecialties include prenatal genetics, dysmorphology (syndrome identification), cancer genetics
Genetic counsellor
Assessing genetic risk, provision of genetic counselling (providing accurate risk information in a comprehensible format), predictive testing for genetic disease and provision of information and support
DNA diagnostic laboratory
Identifying and reporting disease-causing mutations in validated disease genes. Some laboratories also provide linkage analysis to track diseases in families. Laboratories often work in a consortium, as so many different disease genes have now been identified
Cytogenetics laboratory
Identifying pathogenic numerical and structural chromosome anomalies in prenatal, postnatal and oncology samples
Biochemical genetics laboratory
Metabolite and enzymatic-based diagnosis of IEM. Metabolite-based monitoring of treatment of IEM
Newborn screening laboratory
Provision of population-based newborn screening, e.g. PKU, cystic fibrosis, etc.
(IEM = inborn errors of metabolism; PKU = phenylketonuria)

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