The purpose of genetic counselling is to address questions associated with the onset of a congenital and/or genetic disease or worries about it.
Genetic counselling at the Institute of Medical Genetics at MedUni Vienna is intended to help individuals or families to understand medical and genetic facts, to consider different alternatives and to choose appropriate courses of action.
A genetic counselling session
A genetic counselling session includes information about medical aspects of congenital orlate-onset genetically determined or partially genetically determined diseases or disabilities (including aetiology, prognosis, treatment and prevention), as well as information about pre- and postnatal diagnosis. The importance of genetic factors in development of the disease and its influence upon the probability of relatives, or the individual being counselled, developing the condition are discussed.
- Calculation of the risk of developing the disease giving calculated or empirical values. In the case of exogenous impacts, the discussion includes possible action mechanisms, teratogenic and/or mutagenic risks and possibilities for prevention or treatment and prenatal diagnosis.
- Help with individual decision-making, taking account of a person's situation and that of their family. Here it is particularly important to take account of and respect a person's individual values, including religious convictions, and the psychosocial situation of the person seeking advice.
- Help in overcoming existing problems or new problems associated with genetic diagnosis.
Cytogenetic and molecular-genetic diagnostics
The Institute of Medical Genetics performs prenatal diagnostics from amniotic cells and chorionic villi and postnatal cytogenetic analyses from peripheral blood, fibroblasts etc..
It also offers a wide range of molecular-genetic analyses for different diseases:
- Bone and connective tissue diseases
- Metabolic diseases
- Neurological, neurocutaneous and psychiatric disorders
- Disorders involving mental retardation
- Genetically-determined skeletal and malformation syndromes
- Genetically-determined fertility problems
- Sensory organ conditions
- Hereditary cancerous diseases
Coagulation disordersInvestigations are only carried out with the patient's written consent - following notification from the treating physician. In the case of some genetic diseases, patients are requested to provide a completed clinical questionnaire. If costs are to be covered by Health Insurance, a letter of referral from a registered specialist is required.