Angus J Clarke

Cardiff University, Cardiff, WLS, United Kingdom

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Publications (10)40.58 Total impact

  • Angus J Clarke
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    ABSTRACT: The paper by Mand et al raises important questions about the predictive genetic testing of children. They focus on those claims made by professionals that are open to empirical enquiry and give too little weight to those claims that do not require empirical support. The authors remind us that some commentators oppose empirical enquiry because of the concern that gathering evidence of the consequences of such testing may itself be harmful or unethical. They respond by asserting that the relevant research questions are 'eminently testable' but fail to discuss the challenges of such research, including the questions of timescale, consent or the nature of the data whose collection (they assert) would resolve the perceived difficulties with the genetic testing of children. They conclude that empirical research is required without resolving the weighty arguments against predictive testing of young children or explaining how the evidence they wish to collect could overcome the force of the arguments that favour caution.
    Journal of medical ethics 05/2012; 38(9):527-8; discussion 533-4. · 1.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe neurodevelopmental disease that affects approximately 1 in 10,000 live female births and is often caused by mutations in Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). Despite distinct clinical features, the accumulation of clinical and molecular information in recent years has generated considerable confusion regarding the diagnosis of RTT. The purpose of this work was to revise and clarify 2002 consensus criteria for the diagnosis of RTT in anticipation of treatment trials. RettSearch members, representing the majority of the international clinical RTT specialists, participated in an iterative process to come to a consensus on a revised and simplified clinical diagnostic criteria for RTT. The clinical criteria required for the diagnosis of classic and atypical RTT were clarified and simplified. Guidelines for the diagnosis and molecular evaluation of specific variant forms of RTT were developed. These revised criteria provide clarity regarding the key features required for the diagnosis of RTT and reinforce the concept that RTT is a clinical diagnosis based on distinct clinical criteria, independent of molecular findings. We recommend that these criteria and guidelines be utilized in any proposed clinical research.
    Annals of Neurology 12/2010; 68(6):944-50. · 11.19 Impact Factor
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    Angus J Clarke, David N Cooper
    European journal of human genetics: EJHG 03/2010; 18(8):859-61. · 3.56 Impact Factor
  • Angus J. Clarke
    Human Genetics 01/2009; 126(3):473-474. · 4.63 Impact Factor
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    Angus J Clarke, Clara Gaff
    Archives of Disease in Childhood 12/2008; 93(11):911-4. · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As an individual's understanding of their genetic risk may influence risk management decisions, it is important to understand the ways in which risk is constructed and interpreted. We systematically reviewed the literature, undertaking a narrative synthesis of 59 studies presenting data on the ways in which individuals perceive, construct and interpret their risk, and the subsequent effects. While most studies assessed perceived risk quantitatively, the combined evidence suggests individuals find risk difficult to accurately quantify, with a tendency to overestimate. Rather than being a stand-alone concept, risk is something lived and experienced and the process of constructing risk is complex and influenced by many factors. While evidence of the effects of perceived risk is limited and inconsistent, there is some evidence to suggest high risk estimations may adversely affect health and lead to inappropriate uptake of medical surveillance and preventative measures by some individuals. A more focused approach to research is needed with greater exploration of the ways in which risk is constructed, along with the development of stronger theoretical models, to facilitate effective and patient-centered counseling strategies.
    Journal of Genetic Counseling 03/2008; 17(1):30-63. · 1.45 Impact Factor
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    Clara L Gaff, Angus J Clarke, Paul Atkinson
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    ABSTRACT: The communication of risk is a central activity in clinical genetics, with genetic health professionals encouraging the dissemination of relevant information by individuals to their at-risk family members. To understand the process by which communication occurs as well as its outcomes, a systematic review of actual communication in families about genetic risk was conducted. Findings from 29 papers meeting the inclusion criteria were summarised and are presented narratively. Family communication about genetic risk is described as a deliberative process, in which: sense is made of personal risk; the vulnerability and receptivity of the family member is assessed; decisions are made about what will be conveyed; and the right time to disclose is selected. The communication strategy adopted will depend on these factors and varies within families as well as between families. Inherent in these processes are conflicting senses of responsibility: to provide potentially valuable information and to prevent harm that may arise from this knowledge. However, the research ‘outcomes’ of communication have been professionally determined (number of relatives reported as informed, uptake of testing, knowledge of the recipient) and are typically unrelated to the concerns of the family member. The impact of communication on the individual, family members, and family relationships is of concern to the individual conveying the information, but this is largely self-reported. Currently, there is insufficient information to inform the development of theoretically and empirically based practice to foster ‘good’ communication. The implications for future research are discussed.
    European Journal of HumanGenetics 02/2008; 16(3):402-402. · 4.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The communication of risk is a central activity in clinical genetics, with genetic health professionals encouraging the dissemination of relevant information by individuals to their at-risk family members. To understand the process by which communication occurs as well as its outcomes, a systematic review of actual communication in families about genetic risk was conducted. Findings from 29 papers meeting the inclusion criteria were summarised and are presented narratively. Family communication about genetic risk is described as a deliberative process, in which: sense is made of personal risk; the vulnerability and receptivity of the family member is assessed; decisions are made about what will be conveyed; and the right time to disclose is selected. The communication strategy adopted will depend on these factors and varies within families as well as between families. Inherent in these processes are conflicting senses of responsibility: to provide potentially valuable information and to prevent harm that may arise from this knowledge. However, the research 'outcomes' of communication have been professionally determined (number of relatives reported as informed, uptake of testing, knowledge of the recipient) and are typically unrelated to the concerns of the family member. The impact of communication on the individual, family members, and family relationships is of concern to the individual conveying the information, but this is largely self-reported. Currently, there is insufficient information to inform the development of theoretically and empirically based practice to foster 'good' communication. The implications for future research are discussed.
    European Journal of HumanGenetics 11/2007; 15(10):999-1011. · 4.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A translocation that disrupted the netrin G1 gene (NTNG1) was recently reported in a patient with the early seizure variant of Rett syndrome (RTT). The netrin G1 protein (NTNG1) has an important role in the developing central nervous system, particularly in axonal guidance, signalling and NMDA receptor function and was a good candidate gene for RTT. We recruited 115 patients with RTT (females: 25 classic and 84 atypical; 6 males) but no mutation in the MECP2 gene. For those 52 patients with epileptic seizure onset in the first 6 months of life, CDKL5 mutations were also excluded. We aimed to determine whether mutations in NTNG1 accounted for a significant subset of patients with RTT, particularly those with the early onset seizure variant and other atypical presentations. We sequenced the nine coding exons of NTNG1 and identified four sequence variants, none of which were likely to be pathogenic. Mutations in the NTNG1 gene appear to be a rare cause of RTT but NTNG1 function demands further investigation in relation to the central nervous system pathophysiology of the disorder.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 05/2006; 140(7):691-4. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the CDKL5 gene (also known as STK9) have recently been shown to cause early onset epilepsy and severe mental retardation (ISSX or West syndrome). Patients with CDKL5 mutations sometimes also show features similar to those seen in Rett Syndrome (RTT). We have screened the CDKL5 gene in 94 patients with RTT or a RTT-like phenotype who had tested negative for MECP2 mutations (13 classical RTT female subjects, 25 atypical RTT female subjects, 40 RTT-like female and 16 RTT-like male subjects; 33 of the patients had early onset seizures). Novel pathogenic CDKL5 mutations were identified in three girls, two of whom had initially been diagnosed with the early onset seizure variant of RTT and the other with early onset seizures and some features of RTT. In addition, the 33 patients with early seizures were screened for the most common mutations in the ARX gene but none were found. Combining our three new cases with the previously published cases, 13/14 patients with CDKL5 mutations presented with seizures before the age of 3 months.
    European Journal of HumanGenetics 11/2005; 13(10):1113-20. · 4.32 Impact Factor