Early diagnosis of ataxia telangiectasia in the neonatal phase: a parents' perspective.Eur J Pediatr 2019EJ
Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) is a severe neurodegenerative disorder with variable immunodeficiency. Together with the Dutch A-T community, we investigated the opinion of A-T parents on an early A-T diagnosis in the asymptomatic phase of the disease. During an annual national meeting for A-T patients and families, the topic of an early A-T diagnosis was discussed in relation to the recent introduction of neonatal screening for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) in the Netherlands. Based on the discussion, individual arguments were identified and processed into a questionnaire, which was sent out to 64 A-T parents (32 families). Arguments included were insecurity to diagnosis, possible medical advantages, appropriate genetic counseling and family planning, loss of "golden" year(s), and early cancer screening for parents. The response rate was 55% (n = 35 parents). Twenty-six (74%) parents felt that the advantages of an early diagnosis outweighed the disadvantages, five parents thought that the disadvantages would outweigh the advantages (14%), and four parents did not indicate a preference.