In recent years, our understanding of the human body has increased exponentially due to innovative medical research discoveries. But as proven, evidence-based information is gained from studies, a variety of myths and misconceptions have been confused with scientific fact. Below we’re busting some of the most common myths surrounding genetic diseases.
MYTH 1 – Without a family history of a genetic disorder you are not at risk of having a child affected with that genetic disorder.
Genetic conditions can often appear “out of nowhere” without there being a clear family history of the disease. Healthy parents can both unknowingly be carriers of the same recessive genetic disease, which would mean each of their pregnancies would have a 1:4 chance of resulting in a child who has the disease.
MYTH 2 – Genetic diseases are easy to notice
Not all genetic conditions are readily visible. Some, such as the diseases causing muscle weakness at birth that the Perkins Neurogenetic Diseases Group researches are obvious. Others, such as genetic heart diseases may be invisible until symptoms may suddenly appear.
MYTH 3 – Genetic diseases affect males and females the same
Depending on the condition, both sexes may be affected the same, or it can present primarily in just the one sex. An example of this is Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic muscle disorder that mostly affects males, and only develops in females in rare cases.
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