A decade of genetic counseling of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) affected families has generated two important observations. First, the uptake rate for presymptomatic testing for FTD is low in our department of Clinical Genetics at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands. Second, FTD at-risk counselees reported substantial familial opposition to genetic testing, which is distinct from the attitude in Huntington Disease affected families. We hypothesize that the low acceptance for FTD genetic counseling is consequential to the familial opposition and explain this within the theoretical framework of separation-individuation. Furthermore, we hypothesize that separation- individuation problems do not similarly influence the acceptance of HD genetic counseling, due to the educative role of the well-organised patient organization for HD in the Netherlands. We offer counseling recommendations that serve to facilitate the individuation of the counselee with respect to the FTD genetic test.

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Keywords Family opposition, Frontotemporal dementia, Genetic counseling, Presymptomatic testing, Separation-individuation
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10897-009-9222-3, hdl.handle.net/1765/26962
Journal Journal of Genetic Counseling
Riedijk, S.R, Niermeijer, M.F, Dooijes, D, & Tibben, A. (2009). A decade of genetic counseling in frontotemporal dementia affected families: Few counseling requests and much familial opposition to testing. Journal of Genetic Counseling (Vol. 18, pp. 350–356). doi:10.1007/s10897-009-9222-3