Does Muscular Dystrophy Run In Families?

What is the cause of muscular dystrophy? Its cause is the mutations in the genes that play a role in healthy formation and functioning of muscles.1 The next likely question is what the meaning of mutations is. It means that the cells that are responsible for maintaining the muscles of the human body are not able to fulfill this role any more. The cause is the weakness of muscle and progressive disability.

Does Muscular Dystrophy Run In Families?

The human body has a couple of copies of every single gene. A person inherits one copy from one of his parents and the other copy from another. When anyone one or both of the parents of a person is the holder of a mutated gene that is the cause of muscular dystrophy, there is a possibility that the person will get it.2

The precise sort of muscular dystrophy determines the condition. The three possibilities are:

  • Dominant inherited disorder
  • Recessive inherited disorder
  • Sex-linked disorder
  • Dominant Inherited Disorder

In this disorder, a person gets affected only when he gets the mutated gene from a single parent.

So, for a parent of a child whose partner is unaffected, there is a chance of 50% of his child getting affected.

Some of the sorts of muscular dystrophy that a person inherits in this way are:

  • Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.
  • Myotonic dystrophy 3
  • Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy
  • Some sorts of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy.

Recessive Inherited Disorder

A person getting a recessive inherited disorder means that he has got an altered edition of the gene that is the cause of this condition from each one of his parents
A child who inherits an altered edition of this gene from a single becomes a carrier of this condition. So, he is not affected. However, there is a possibility of any children of his getting affected provided that his partner is a carrier.

When each of the parents is a carrier of an altered edition of the gene that is the cause of this condition:

  • The possibility of their child having muscular dystrophy is 1:4
  • The possibility of their kid being healthy while being a carrier of the faulty gene of the mother is 1:4
  • The possibility of their child being healthy while being a carrier of the faulty gene of the father is 1:4
  • The possibility of their kid being healthy is 1:4

Sex-Linked Disorder

Chromosomes are structures of DNA that are long and resemble a thread. While there are a single X and a single Y sex chromosome in a male, and there are two X chromosomes in a female.

The cause of a sex-linked disorder is a mutation in a single gene on one’s X chromosome. With males having just a single copy of every single gene on their X chromosome, they are going to be affected when of the genes is mutated.

With females having a couple of copies of an X chromosome, they have less possibility of developing the X-linked condition. The reason is that regular copy of this chromosome normally has the capacity of covering for the altered version.

Though females still have the chance of getting X-linked disorders the condition is generally not as severe as when the affected make has the gene alteration.

Some of the sorts of muscular dystrophy that a person inherits in this manner are:

  • Becker muscular dystrophy
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Spontaneous Gene Mutations

This is a sort of gene mutations that can occasionally be the cause of muscular dystrophy. The genes mutate without any apparent reason and change the functioning of the cells. This sort of gene mutations can be the cause of muscular dystrophy in individuals without a family background of the condition.

There is another way that a child without any family background can get affected and it is for a recessive condition. It is possible that the gene mutations were present on each side of the family for several generations but did not affect anyone before a child got a single copy of the altered gene from each of his parents.

As evident from this article, in a good number of instances, muscular dystrophy runs in families. Usually, a child gets it after he inherits of a faulty gene from a single or both of his parents.

References:  

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