Genomic counselling: how to make sense of the map of your genes
Nov 17 , 2018

Genomic counselling: how to make sense of the map of your genes

You are unique. As are your genes. Your biological atlas that is your whole genome, is a maze. But, accurate interpretation of this map, your genes, can help prepare you and your family for present and future risks. This signposting of the right paths through intricate genome sequences is done by genomic counsellors.

Family health histories or deaths in families due to a genetic disorder can often prompt fears of being a “carrier” and concerns about one’s reproductive future. It is now also common for patients to seek out genetic information voluntarily to check for cancer predisposition genes, or as part of pre-natal diagnostics.

Advances in genetic sciences have meant that while patients or families of patients can access genetic information, they may struggle to make sense of it, along with the risks and implications as well. Such genomic interpretation and communication by specially qualified counsellors, at the right emotional and psychological pitch, is now essential.

Genomic counselling is a special domain of care which also manages the emotional fallout from inherited disease. It isn’t just science; it is equal parts emotions. Counsellors need to ensure the flow of accurate, comprehensible information with sensitivity – this helps patients adapt and incorporate genetic information into their lives, find time and space to adjust to it, rationalise it, make decisions with a clear head and also prepare how to explain it to their families.

This study shows that the role of genetic counsellors needs to have emotional range and scientific width – as they have to deal with difficult cases and questions, from patients who may have prior knowledge that they might be “carriers” of recessive diseases, or may be completely new to it.

No matter what the case, genomic counselling has to be about both science and emotions. This is, after all, highly personalized medicine.

We at BioViva wholeheartedly concur and are offering our exclusive genomic counselling services, provided by experienced and qualified genomic counsellors. Whether you have already taken a genetic test, or you are thinking about evaluating which genetic test is best for you or your loved ones – our genetic counsellors can help you understand the complex genomic landscape, and optimize your health.

Book your genetic counselling session today:

Adam Alonzi

Adam Alonzi is a writer, biotechnologist, documentary maker, futurist, inventor, programmer, and author two novels. He is an analyst for the Millennium Project, and Head of Social Media and Content Creation for BioViva Sciences. Listen to his podcasts here. Read his blog here.