Abnormalities in the genes or chromosomes can cause various genetic disorders and diseases. Half of our genes come from our mother and the other half we got from our father. That’s how genetic material is passed from one generation to another. Mutations of some genes can be also passed out to the children and these are inherited mutations. Some genes are defected and when the child gets such duplicated genes he/she is inheriting the disease that gene is carrying.
There are many diseases that could be inherited, including: hereditary multiple exostoses, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia.
Dominant and Recessive
There are the dominant and recessive genetic traits. In the case of recessive genetic traits it means that something won’t be expressed in a person’s life but it will stay dormant (latent). Dominant genetic traits will express themselves in the person’s life immediately.
There are also autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive patterns of inheriting the genetic diseases. Autosomal dominant disorders will be expressed even if there is only one mutated copy of that gene. Children have 50% chances to inherit these diseases form they parents. Such diseases are Huntington’s disease and hereditary non-poluposis colorectal cancer.
Autosomal recessive pattern disorders need two copies (one from each parent) to be expressed as the disease. Sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis are autosomal recessive diseases.
Mutations of X Chromosome
Mutations can happen in genes on the X chromosome. When that happens in a man, and it’s a dominant disorder his sons probably won’t inherit that medical problem. But, if this man has a daughter or daughters, they will inherit it for sure. Man suffering from X recessive disorder will pass a single copy of the disorder to his daughters, but his sons won’t be affected by it. Woman having a dominant X linked disorder has a chance of 50% to pass it onto her children, either sons or daughters. Some of the well known X linked dominant disorders are Aicardi and Rett’s syndromes, while color blindness and hemophilia type A are recessive X linked disorders.
Mutations of Y Chromosome
There are fewer disorders associated with the mutations of genes on the Y chromosomes, since it is much smaller than X chromosome and don’t have so many genes. Male infertility is one of the disorders connected with mutation on Y chromosome. These disorders can happen only in men, because only men have the Y chromosome, and the only way they could inherit these disease is from their father.
Other Genetic Diseases
Mutations on the mitochondria might also cause genetic diseases. These disorders can be inherited only from our mother. Mitochondrial encephalopathy and Leber’s hereditary optic atrophy are the examples of inherited mitochondrial disorders.
Polygenetic inheritance or mutations in several genes can also be responsible for genetic disorders. Sometimes obesity, diabetes, heart-related problems, arthritis or cancers can be explained by this pattern of inheritance.