It’s in the DNA! 5 common genetically inherited diseases

It’s in the DNA! 5 Common Genetically Hereditary Diseases Photo credit: iStock images


  • People often refer to certain health complications as something that “runs in the family”
  • These complications are called hereditary diseases and are the result of genetic mutations and abnormalities.
  • Besides genetics, various factors such as environment can affect the progression and prevalence of these diseases in the body.

New Delhi: You must have heard people describe certain health complications as something that is “part of the family”. Cultures and traditions are not the only things passed down from generation to generation. Sometimes certain diseases enter the body through genes. But how does this happen? To better understand it, we must first know what genetic diseases are. Simply put, diseases caused by mutations in genes are called genetic diseases or disorders. When these abnormalities are due to faulty genetic inheritance, the disease is called an inherited disease.

Genetically inherited diseases

Here are some common diseases that can be passed from generation to generation through genes:

  1. Cystic fibrosis: This genetic disease is progressive in nature and can lead to lung infections and complications. Children who inherit the defective gene from a parent eventually become carriers. However, children who inherit defective genes from both parents will develop cystic fibrosis.
  2. Huntington’s disease: A brain disorder caused by the inheritance of defective genes causing loss of cognitive and muscle function is known as Huntington’s disease. It is a progressive disease, meaning that the symptoms can get worse with age.
  3. Thalassemia: One type of blood disorder that results in insufficient production of hemoglobin in the body is known as thalassemia. If one of the parents carries defective genes, the child is likely to have a trait of thalassemia. However, the risk of thalassemia in offspring increases if both parents carry defective genes.
  4. Down Syndrome: This condition is due to the presence of an extra chromosome. A normal baby has a pair of 23 chromosomes, which represents 46 chromosomes in each baby. However, babies with Down’s syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 21. The three types of Down’s syndrome are Down’s syndrome, Down’s syndrome, and Translocation syndrome. Some common symptoms of this condition include small ears, hands and feet, a flattened face, loose muscles, a short neck and waist, and eyes tilted upward.
  5. Tay-Sachs disease: A genetic disease that leads to the breakdown of nerve cells that affects the spinal cord and the brain is known as Tay-Sachs disease. It is fatal and progressive in nature. Common symptoms include muscle problems, mobility issues, loss of vision or hearing, and an inability to communicate or coordinate.

Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting a fitness program or making any changes to your diet.

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