Genetic Counseling | Maryland | Adventist HealthCare

Genetic Counseling

Partner with doctors at Adventist HealthCare who specialize in genetic counseling. Benefit from expert care close to you in Maryland.

What is Genetic Counseling?

Genetic counseling is the process of understanding and processing the implications of one’s genetics. Genetic counselors are trained to interpret family medical histories, determine how susceptible people are to genetic conditions and diseases, and create a plan of action regarding further medical decisions.

Conditions We Test For

The genetic counselors at Adventist HealthCare may specialize in general care or specialize in testing for the following conditions:

Cancer

Cardiovascular

  • Arrhythmias – an irregular heartbeat
  • Aortic aneurysms – a bulge in a section of the aorta, causing the heart to become overstretched and weak
  • Coronary artery disease – hardening of the arteries
  • Cardiomyopathy – a disease that affects the heart muscle and the way it pumps
  • High cholesterol – a buildup of too many lipids in the blood causing an increased risk for heart disease and stroke
  • Stroke – when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts

Mental Health

  • Alcoholism – dependency on alcohol
  • Autism spectrum – a brain disorder that often makes it hard to communicate and relate with others
  • Bipolar disorder – an illness that causes extreme mood changes from manic episodes of very high energy to the extreme lows of depression
  • Depression – a illness that causes extreme sadness and feelings of helplessness
  • Schizophrenia – an illness that can affect your ability to think clearly, manage your emotions, and interact with others

Neurology

Pediatric

  • Autism spectrum – a brain disorder that often makes it hard to communicate and relate with others
  • Cleft lip or palate – treatable birth defects when the tissues of upper jaw, nose, or roof of the mouth don’t develop properly
  • Cystic fibrosis – a genetic disease that causes mucus in the body to become think and sticky, causing problems in many of the body’s organs
  • Developmental delays – problems that affect how a child can talk, move, concentrate, and/or socialize
  • Down syndrome – a genetic condition caused by abnormal cell division in the egg, sperm, or fertilized egg, resulting in varying levels of intellectual disability and physical problems
  • Heart defect – issues with the way the baby’s heart forms at birth, continuing problems later into life
  • Muscular dystrophy – a genetic condition that progressively weakens muscles
  • Spina bifida – a birth defect when the bones of the spine don’t form properly around the baby’s spinal cord
  • Sensory impairments – the loss or impairment of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and spatial awareness

Prenatal & Preconception

  • Birth defects – when something is wrong with the genes or chromosomes, an organ, or body chemistry within the fetus
  • Down syndrome – a genetic condition caused by abnormal cell division in the egg, sperm, or fertilized egg, resulting in varying levels of intellectual disability and physical problems
  • Infertility – the inability to conceive
  • Spina bifida – a birth defect when the bones of the spine don’t form properly around the baby’s spinal cord
  • Miscarriages – the loss of a pregnancy during the first 20 weeks  

Types of Genetic Testing

There are numerous types of genetic testing available. Depending on the patient’s history and symptoms, genetic counselors may complete:

  • Carrier testing – genetic testing that finds out if a person is a carrier for recessive diseases
  • Diagnostic testing – genetic testing that aims to diagnose based on symptoms of mutated genes
  • Newborn testing – the most common type of genetic testing, performed immediately on newborn babies
  • Predictive testing – genetic testing that occurs when a person has a family history of a genetic disorder
  • Preimplantation testing – a form of genetic testing when embryos are screened for genetic abnormalities before people try to conceive through invitro fertilization.
  • Prenatal testing – genetic testing that takes place during pregnancy

Your Options for Genetic Testing

Your testing and treatment plan depends on the type of condition you have and other factors. Expect your genetic counselor to work closely with your care team including your primary care doctor or specialist, such as an oncologist or OBGYN, to help decide which course of genetic testing is right for you.

Make an Appointment

Call 800-642-0101 or search online to find a clinical genetics and genomics specialist near you.

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