Machado-Joseph disease [MJD, also spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3)] and familial amyloid polyneuropathy type I (FAP-I or ATTR V30M) are neurodegenerative disorders, inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, which have a high prevalence in Portugal, probably due to a founder effect. MJD and FAP-I are late-onset diseases, with symptoms emerging usually during adulthood. CGPP, which is the national reference centre for these disorders, has a genetic lab that offers diagnostic, pre-symptomatic and prenatal testing and an outpatient clinic to counsel and follow relatives at risk for hereditary ataxias, FAP-I and Huntington disease (HD). The present work is a review of our 10-year experience with psychological counselling of individuals at risk for MJD and FAP-I. Persons at risk for FAP-I may show a better response to pre-symptomatic testing than those who are at risk for MJD and HD because of the availability of liver transplantation, which may improve their health and life expectancy. Psychological well-being and specific distress of MJD and FAP-I test applicants, before undergoing genetic testing (baseline level) and 3 to 6 months after disclosure of test results, have shown a low level of change, both in identified carriers and non-carriers. A major goal of psychological characterization of at-risk individuals for MJD and FAP-I is to determine the factors that influence the uptake of genetic testing.