The Department of Medical Genetic Services offers children and adults comprehensive evaluation, counseling and care for inherited disorders.
These services may help clarify risks to individuals and families, provide a diagnosis for unexplained symptoms, and identify a new need for specialized care.
Information is also provided for testing, clinical trials and support organizations.
Frequently asked questions
Q: What is DNA Banking?
A: DNA banking is a way to store a DNA sample, to possibly be used in the future.
Q: What is involved?
A: A blood sample is taken and a consent form is signed, with brief counseling. DNA is stored for a number of years for you or your designee, for a nominal cost. After giving the sample, you or your designee have access to the sample for a number of years.
Q: What are the benefits?
A: Genetics is evolving, and new testing for the sample may be available in the future, possibly providing important information for the family.
Q: What testing is done on the DNA?
A: None, unless the person or their designee requests it. The DNA is only stored.
Q: Who should consider it?
A: Any family with a strong history of conditions, i.e. cancer, heart disease or diabetes, or an individual with a rare or unusual condition of unknown cause, possibly genetic.
Q: Where is DNA Banking available?
A: DNA Banking is currently available at Marshfield Medical Research Foundation.
A genetic evaluation may:
- Help clarify risks
- Provide a diagnosis for unexplained symptoms
- Provide information for family members
- Identify a new need for specialized care
- Be a resource for new testing, clinical trials, and support organizations
- Gather information through family tree, physical examination, records
- Assess any genetic risks to individuals and family members
- Educate about issues and diagnoses, and provide recommendations
- Offer pertinent testing
- Provide support, counseling
- Refer as needed to other specialists or to other services, such as support groups, clinical trials
The age groups typically seen and types of consults we offer are:
Pre-conceptual for couples considering a pregnancy. Examples include a family history of Down syndrome or a known history of a genetic condition
Prenatal services for concerned expectant couples due to advanced maternal age, abnormal triple screen results or abnormal ultrasound findings
Pediatric/Adult of any age concerning multiple unexplained distinctive features or strong family history of cancer
Specialized clinics for individuals with cleft lip and/or palate, cystic fibrosis and Huntington disease.
Common questions about a genetic evaluation
Q-Will my insurance cover it?
A-Each insurance plan is unique. More are covering evaluations, typically after a physician has made the referral. In some cases, we can help with this.
Q-Will you test me for all sorts of conditions?
A-After a careful explanation of any testing, you decide whether to have it done. Testing is never forced on anyone.
Q-Will you tell me things I do not want to know?
A-In terms of genetic risks, we try our best to focus the discussion on issues people are comfortable pursuing.