Also known as: genetic disorders, hereditary diseases, hereditary disorders, inheritance disorders
What are genetic diseases?
Genetic diseases are conditions that occur due to a mutation in a gene ( a unit of hereditary ) in your body’s cells. Genetic diseases can be caused by a change to a single gene, many genes or damage to the overall chromosomes that carry the genes.
What causes genetic diseases?
Some genetic diseases are hereditary, which means they are passed along from parents to children. Others are caused by genes that start out normally but then mutate at some point later in life, either on their own or due to exposure to some toxin. In many cases, a combination of different factors leads to the gene mutation.
What are the symptoms of genetic diseases?
There are hundreds upon hundreds of genetic disorders, so the symptoms can vary widely depending on the type of disorder. The symptoms can range from very mild symptoms that are easy to live with to severe, life-threatening medical conditions.
What are genetic disease care options?
In most cases, genetic disorders cannot be cured or reversed. Quite a few, however, can be managed with supportive care and treatment of symptoms.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: 4/27/2017 2:36:19 PM
From the Newsdesk
This edition of Dateline Health is about children and infants with special needs.
Saima Aftab, MD is a neonatologist and PSA chief for the Section of Neonatology and Perinatal Medicine at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and serves as medical director of the Fetal Care Center.