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Genetic testing for learning disabilities?

(18 Posts)
PizzaConnoisseur Fri 29-Jan-16 10:55:03

Is there such a thing?

On my partner's side his mother has 3 brothers who all have severe learning disabilities, to the extent that they live in sheltered accommodation, and have done all their adult lives. His mother seems to have emotional difficulties and/or mild learning disabilities, but there has been no official diagnosis. She has a sister who also seems unaffected.

My partner also has two brothers, of those brothers one demonstrates signs of mild learning disabilities. He is in his late 20's and has the mentality of a teenager. He didn't do well in school, and has never been able to hold down a job as an adult. Again he has not been officially diagnosed.

Can my OH go to the doctor and ask for genetic testing for any inherited conditions? I am quite sure that his mother would object to going herself.

applecatchers36 Fri 29-Jan-16 11:02:53

Not unless it is a syndrome like fragile x syndrome or similar

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Fri 29-Jan-16 11:04:29

Yes you could ask for referral to geneticist

PizzaConnoisseur Fri 29-Jan-16 11:30:14

Thank you, I will talk to my OH about going to a GP and discussing this.

StillMedusa Fri 29-Jan-16 20:05:51

Fragile X is the most common genetic disorder with the sort of disability level you describe.. usually moderate learning disabilities and women tend to have mild(er) ones. The classic 'look' is large ears and a rather long face but this varies!

It sounds as though it would definitely be worth your OH asking for a referral to genetics to check him, even if his family don't want to be involved.

cestlavielife Fri 29-Jan-16 20:11:21

Would any of the affected individuals be happy to be tested? Genetics gas moved on a lit in past ten years so if they ok with blood tests they might get some answers and you can assess the risk .

cestlavielife Fri 29-Jan-16 20:12:22

Fragile x is passed on via the mother so if your p is unaffected he won't show fragile x.

cestlavielife Fri 29-Jan-16 20:14:35

www.fragilex.org.uk/#!carriers/ca7t

cestlavielife Fri 29-Jan-16 20:15:47

www.fragilex.org.uk/#!carriers/ca7t

beautifulgirls Fri 29-Jan-16 21:35:58

My daughter has a genetic problem that causes her various issues including some mild learning issues. She had micro-array genetic testing which can show up small changes genetic compared to some of the older methods used that were only able to detect significantly bigger genetic changes such as fragile X.

If your DH does not exhibit signs of problems then there is a high chance that even if the rest of the family members have an issue he probably does not.

Lilipot15 Fri 29-Jan-16 21:40:47

Yes, he should definitely ask for a referral to clinical genetics. They may also be able to arm him with the "lingo" to discuss it with relatives who could have testing which may assist with giving information to the wider family.

bishboschone Fri 29-Jan-16 21:45:12

Is your husband affected at all? I hate to say it but with that history if you were to have a child it's likely there would be an issue . I have a child with a genetic condition . We see a geneticist and it's not inherited ( just one of those things that happened at conception) . Just be aware the micro array won't always pick up any issues . Genetics is a very new science .. If I were you I would go to your gp and ask for a referral to see a geneticist for the reasons you have stated .

PizzaConnoisseur Sat 30-Jan-16 00:42:55

Thank you for the replies. OH's mother has an array of physical disabilities, and we believe some of this has a psychological cause. She would definitely not agree to be tested. She is highly sensitive to anything she perceives as criticism or insult and gets upset and confused easily.

I don't believe OH's brother would either, although to add, I don't think he has the capacity to understand his own problems. To give you an example of his behaviour - he stole money from his girlfriend to fund THEIR holiday, because he did not have the money to pay for it himself after being dismissed from his job.

I have thought about Fragile X upon doing Google research, and it does seem like a possibility. I do think - from the pictures I've seen - that OH's uncles have a somewhat unusual appearance, but he does not agree. Then again he is 33 years old and prior to meeting me had never given any of this any thought!

We have spoken about him visiting the GP, with the knowledge that something or nothing may arise.

PizzaConnoisseur Sat 30-Jan-16 00:47:19

And my OH is not affected by any learning disability at all. He is the only person in his immediate family with a degree, and holds a very difficult position in a high paid job. He interacts with lots of people and deals with emotionally taxing situations and stress pretty well.

bishboschone Sat 30-Jan-16 07:39:30

Genetic issues mostly all come along with a variety of problems . Facial dis morphia is one of them so it could be any number of syndromes or an unknown one like my sons . Does your husband have exactly he same parentage ? It's seems very unusual for so many family members to be affected and not your husband ... You can have a cvs / microarray on a baby while pregnant and make a decision from there( as harsh as it is ) but be aware I had this and my sons genetic issues wasn't picked up .. I would definitely speak to a geneticist ( privately or otherwise ) before you go ahead and ttc .

PizzaConnoisseur Sat 30-Jan-16 10:42:23

Hi there, my OH is one of three brothers, they all have the same mother, but different fathers. His middle brother doesn't have any learning disabilities, although he is 30 years old, has never left home and seems to have no plans to. Other than their uncles and their own mother, it is only his youngest brother who displays signs of a learning disability.

My biggest concern really is for our future children, or grandchildren. I wouldn't want to walk into anything blindly, without knowing any possible conditions.

bishboschone Sat 30-Jan-16 12:30:42

There is your answer then. Your husbands families issues are likely maternally inherited . If she has ld then it's likely she has had relationships with similar men . Presumably your husbands dad didn't have any issues which is why he is presents typically .. You absolutely need to see a geneticist so they can explain to you your probability of having a child with 'issues ' . I absolutely adore my son but he is going to be an adult with learning difficulties and I would not have brought a child into the world had I any inkling this could happen . The poor boy struggles with everything everyday and it's heartbreaking .

cestlavielife Sat 30-Jan-16 12:36:56

Ask to see a genetic counsellor

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