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Do I need symptoms to test?

March 4, 2014

Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

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Do I need symptoms to test?

Q. My father has HD, I would like to know if I need to show symptoms to be able to do the test. Thank you.

Marina, 24, Brazil

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A. Dear Marina,

Thank you for your email. You do not need to show symptoms to be able to do the test. This is called “pre-symptomatic testing”. Some people choose this option to help them make a variety of choices in their lives, particularly about reproduction. In most countries, pre-symptomatic testing is only offered to adults (in most cases this means people over 18 years of age).

In many countries, there are genetic counsellors. These are people who are trained to talk over the options and help you come to the best decision for you.

With best wishes

Hugh Rickards