Latest update: 17/05/2017

What can we offer you?

The Centrum voor Medische Genetica (Centre for Medical Genetics - CMG) at UZ Brussel offers different types of consultations for various phases of your life.
The consultations are usually multidisciplinary. This means you will not only see the genetics doctor of the CMG, but also a psychologist and/or a social health worker and/or (an)other health specialist(s) from UZ Brussel.

Practical

Whether you have been referred to us by your GP, gynaecologist or specialist, or whether you have contacted us independently, the Guide section tells you what to do for a consultation.

You should remember: 
  • that you always need to make an appointment via the CMG secretariat (see Contact), 
  • that both partners must register if you are coming for a consultation as a couple.

For which disorders?

The CMG can help you for any disorder you suspect might be hereditary. Below are a number of disorders we already grouped and for which we have fixed consultation times (see Consultation schedule).
But we can also help if the disorder is not in this list, also if it concerns a rare disorder. During or after the consultation we will decide whether the examination will be carried out at the CMG or in co-operation with another centre. Genetics has many specialisations. That is why if necessary we will request the expertise of colleagues in Belgium or abroad.

If you come to us because – despite a hereditary disorder– you want to have a healthy child, come and see us before you try to get pregnant.
Of course sometimes we can help you when you are pregnant via a prenatal diagnosis, but sometimes there is not enough time during a pregnancy to complete all the tests.
Since the existence of NIPT a prenatal examination not always requires chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis anymore – which always carries a (small) risk of miscarriage.
But consultation and diagnosis before you are pregnant are the best chances of giving birth to a healthy baby and to avoid any possible, difficult decisions about an abortion.
In the list below the asterisk next to a disorder means it requires a multidisciplinary approach. This means you not only see the genetics doctor but if necessary another specialist and counsellor, or a psychologist and social health worker as well.


Rare diseases*
Metabolic diseases*
Mental disability
Developmental problems
Dysmorphology
Autism
Growth disorders and endocrine problems*

NIPT
Preconceptual advice
Fertility problems*
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis* (PGD)
High-risk pregnancy *

Conditions affecting the eye*
Conditions affecting the skin*
Hearing disturbances*
Skeletal anomalies
Connective tissue disorders*
Conditions affecting the muscles*
Conditions affecting the heart*
Kidney diseases
Schisis (cleft lip and/or palate)*

Cystic fibrosis
Neurofibromatosis and related disorders
Neurological disorders (Huntington)*
Tuberous sclerosis*

ART = Assisted Reproductive Treatment (or techniques)

Ever since the CRG, the fertility centre at UZ Brussel, began providing medically assisted fertilisation in 1984, the CMG has carried out follow-up studies of children born thanks to these treatments. .
During all these years, CMG doctors have examined all the children in the same way and meticulously recorded all their findings in a database. Currently it contains data on more than 15,000 children. We are proud to say that whenever a new technique has been introduced we have gathered data on 95% to 98% of the children who were born as a result. Thanks to the collaboration between the CMG and the CRG, UZ Brussel belongs to the absolute world top.
The follow-up of ART babies is initially carried out by the CRG: during pregnancy and immediately after birth a questionnaire is sent to patients asking for details about their pregnancy and childbirth as well as information about their babies' health.
In the second follow-up phase the CMG invites the parents to bring their baby or child for a consultation at the CMG:

  • the first time when the baby is two months old, 
  • the second time around the baby's first birthday. 
  • For some techniques, such as PGD and (more recently) oocyte (egg cell) vitrification, a consultation is also scheduled around the child's second birthday.

These follow-up studies serve three purposes:

  • They provide information on how the patient experienced the treatment. It can help researchers and doctors to refine and improve their techniques.
  • Long-term studies allow us to study the health consequences of ART treatments for individuals born as a result. They range from prenatal development of embryos to the health of newborn babies and the general medical condition of (groups of) ART adults.
    One example of a practical application: earlier studies showed that ART babies had a slightly lower birth weight than other babies. Our follow-up studies allowed us to see whether the children make up for this deficit and if so, how quickly.
  • Thanks to these follow-up consultations we are able to maintain long-term contact with ART patients who were also CMG patients. In turn, this helps us to acquire the social and psychological information that we need to help our patients now and in the future.

    <top>

    The suspicion of a genetic disorder for which you are tested may cause anxiety and result in psychological complaints.
    Often, considerable time passes before you have a final diagnosis. For you, the patient, this waiting period is probably a difficult and uncertain period.
    And if it turns out you do have a genetic disorder or it has affected one of your relatives you may need support to accept this.
    A genetic diagnosis also has practical and administrative consequences. We also try to find solutions for this.

    This is why a good multidisciplinary framework is an important aspect of our consultations for you, the patient. Our geneticists are often assisted by a psychosocial worker during consultations, either:

    • a social health worker,
    • a psychologist, 
    • in the event of a PGD treatment, the PGD counsellor,
    • or a genetic counsellor.

    This does not involve any extra costs: psychosocial counselling is included in the doctor-geneticist's consultation.