Concerns about the use of polygenic embryo screening for psychiatric and cognitive traits

Todd Lencz, Maya Sabatello, Anna Docherty, Roseann E. Peterson, Takahiro Soda, Jehannine Austin, Laura Bierut, David Crepaz-Keay, David Curtis, Franziska Degenhardt, Laura Huckins, Gabriel Lazaro-Munoz, Manuel Mattheisen, Bettina Meiser, Holly Peay, Marcella Rietschel, Consuelo Walss-Bass, Lea K. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Private companies have begun offering services to allow parents undergoing in-vitro fertilisation to screen embryos for genetic risk of complex diseases, including psychiatric disorders. This procedure, called polygenic embryo screening, raises several difficult scientific and ethical issues, as discussed in this Personal View. Polygenic embryo screening depends on the statistical properties of polygenic risk scores, which are complex and not well studied in the context of this proposed clinical application. The clinical, social, and ethical implications of polygenic embryo screening have barely been discussed among relevant stakeholders. To our knowledge, the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics is the first professional biomedical organisation to issue a statement regarding polygenic embryo screening. For the reasons discussed in this Personal View, the Society urges caution and calls for additional research and oversight on the use of polygenic embryo screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)838-844
Number of pages7
JournalThe Lancet Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022


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