Genetic Diseases


Genetic Diseases

A few words about Genetic Diseases

One of the most important threats for human’s health is, undoubtedly, the genetic diseases. What a genetic disease is? It is a disorder caused by genetic factors and especially abnormalities in the human genetic material (genome). There are four main types of genetic disorders. Of course, some of these changes in genome can cause interesting advantages in specific environments (Darwinian Fitness). But there is no doubt that all these abnormalities (disorders) bring destructive results to a living being in the present environment.

The four types of (human) Genetic diseases are:

1) Single-gene/monogenic Genetic Diseases:

Patient suffering from Aicardi SyndromeIn this category the starting point is a mutation/change in one gene. The next question is how a change in the sequence of a single gene can cause severe disorders. Genes code for proteins which are some of the most important tools for the living beings, and also take place in the structures of the cells. The results of a mutation that happens in a part of gene that codes for a functional part of a protein are unwelcome. Lungs of a patient suffering from cystic fibrosisThe protein is no more functional and as a result, many severe consequences take place. Almost 6000 single gene disorders are known and it is estimated that 1 of 200 newborns face a single gene genetic disorder. Some of these are sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, Aicardi Syndrome, Huntington’s disease.

2) Multifactorial/Polygonic Genetic Diseases:

The second type of human genetic diseases is caused by mutations in more than one genes. The environment combines with these mutations in order these diseases to appear. We can easily conclude that polygenic disorders are more complicated than the previous type (single gene diseases). These abnormalities are also difficult to analyze, because there are many factors that researchers should take into consideration in order to reach to some useful conclusions. Many well known chronic diseases are Multifactorial Genetic Diseases. Everybody knows Alzheimer, diabetes, obesity and arthritis. Besides many cancer types are caused by multi mutations.

Patient suffering from Alzheimer

3) Chromosomal Genetic Diseases:

Chromosomes are big DNA molecules composed from genes. The chromosomes are located in the cell nucleus. Abnormalities in the structure, number (and not only) of the chromosomes can cause some of the most dangerous genetic disorders. This type of disorders seem to be much easier to observe because they are, sometimes, detected by examination with microscope. Down Syndrome is the most well known disease caused by chromosomal abnormalities. In this disorder there is a third copy of chromosome 21 (there are two copies of each chromosome in the cells of healthy humans). Chromosomal diseases can be also caused by segments and joins of parts of chromosomes.

4) Mitochondrial Genetic Diseases:

It is not a common situation. Mitochondrial DNA is a DNA molecule found in the mitochondria (out of the nucleous) – a necessary organelle for cellular respiration. Mutations in the mitochondrial DNA can also cause undesirable abnormalities. In the following pages you can find more info about some of the most dangerous human genetic diseases and also reveal the secrets of some rare disorders.

Asthma and allergies

Many people notice what allergies and asthma have in common, since these conditions often occur together. Allergies are the way that your body fights off what it recognizes as unwanted substances in your body. Your immune system releases histamines that cause symptoms such as sneezing, red eyes, and other symptoms when these allergens are present. Similarly, asthma sufferers experience almost identical causes, but their reactions occur mainly in their airways, whereas allergy sufferers can experience symptoms in other areas. The same substances that may trigger allergies can also cause asthma signs as well though, which is why the two conditions are related.

Asthma and Allergy Causes

What you may not realize is that asthma and allergies actually have a genetic origin. It’s very common for children to develop asthma if parents or grandparents have asthma or allergies. In some cases, you may not realize that you have either allergies or asthma until later in life because it is not present at birth. You may have the genetics for either of these conditions and then experience a “trigger” which causes symptoms to appear. If you live in an area of the country where there is a great deal of pollen and you have a genetic predisposition for a pollen allergy, the presence of pollen will probably trigger your reaction at some point. Keep in mind, though, that asthma and allergy triggers vary from person to person.

Unknown Responses

While genetic susceptibility and a subsequent exposure to a trigger are the causes of allergies and asthma, it’s not always known how people are going to react to these factors. Some people develop allergies after being exposed one time, while others may be exposed multiple times before they start to show signs. This is why it is imperative for you to live in a clean environment, and to choose the adequate tools to help you achieve this desideratum. When searching for the best vacuum cleaner for example, you should consider HEPA filtration, allergen protection and more. Every case of allergies and asthma is different, which is why it may be difficult for doctors and researchers to determine the specific causes and triggers. However, research has determined that asthma and allergies causes are a combination of genetics and environmental factors.

Common Triggers

Allergens are common triggers for both allergies and asthma episodes. Dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollens can all be triggers. In most cases, these allergens are something that you inhale, although they may also be a substance that is consumed. Whenever possible, the best strategy is to avoid your exposure to common allergens to prevent signs and symptoms of these conditions.

Irritants in the air including smoke, strong fumes, and odors are usually not triggers for allergies, but can be for asthma. If you smoke also, you will have an increased risk of triggering your asthma symptoms. If you think that you may have the possibility for asthma to develop, it’s recommended that you avoid smoking, fumes, and other irritants that may be breathed in.
Other triggers may be harder to avoid, including illnesses. Respiratory infections like the flu or a sinus infection are one of the top triggers of asthma in children. Certain types of weather, like dry wind or sudden changes can bring on episodes as well. Finally, exercise that makes you breathe harder is a trigger for asthma. This type of asthma can usually be treated, but extreme exercise may be a trigger in some cases.

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