Your Genes, Your Health: A Critical Family Guide That Could Save Your Life

ISBN : 9780199792078

Aubrey Milunsky
424 Pages
159 x 237 mm
Pub date
Oct 2011
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New advances in genetics have dramatically expanded our ability to avoid, prevent, diagnose, and treat a wide range of disorders. Now, more than ever, families need to know about these new discoveries, especially as there are some 7,000 rare genetic diseases that afflict about 1 in 12 of us. In Your Genes, Your Health, Aubrey Milunsky provides an invaluable and authoritative guide to what you should know about your genes. Illustrated with poignant family histories that underscore the lifesaving importance of knowing one's family medical history and ethnic origin, the book highlights the importance of recognizing seemingly unrelated disorders in a family as due to the same gene mutation and it outlines the key genetic tests needed for diagnosis, detection of carriers, and prenatal diagnosis. Many genetic disorders are discussed including cancer, heart disease, autism, mental illness, birth defects, neurologic disorders, diabetes, obesity and much more. The message of this book is clear-know your family history, be cognizant of your ethnic origins, seek appropriate consultations, and opt for meaningful genetic tests. Recognition of your risk(s) enables prompt preemptive action. By knowing your genes, you may save your life and the lives of those you love.


1. Why and What You Should Know
2. Too Many or Too Few Chromosomes
3. X's and Y's: The Sex Chromosomes
4. Chromosome Rearrangements
5. Blueprints: You and Your Genes
6. How Genes are Transmitted
7. Prenatal Diagnosis
8. When Good Cells Go Wrong
9. Matters of the Heart
10. Consequences of a Failure to Diagnose
11. Genes Gone Missing
12. Earlier and More Severe Genetic Disorders
13. The Determination to Have a Healthy Child
14. Irrevocability and Acceptance
15. Ancestral Genetic Burdens
16. Puzzling Fevers
17. Bleeding and Clotting
18. Blood Vessels that Burst
19. Connectivity: Abnormal Brain Connections
20. Skin: A Mirror to the Brain
21. Genes with Signatures
22. Maternal Inheritance and Inevitability
23. Harmful Maternal Effects on the Fetus
24. Patterns of Anomalies
25. Treatment Options
26. Sugar and Metals
27. Obesity: A Weighty Burden
28. Hypertension
Frequently Asked Questions
Appendix 1: Cancer Family Syndromes for which Preimplantation Genetic Diagnoses have been Performed
Appendix 2: Genetic Disorders with Germline Mosacism
Appendix 3: Disorders with Dynamic Mutations
Appendix 4: Genetic Disorders that show Anticipation
Appendix 5: Guidelines for Presymptomatic or Predictive Testing
Appendix 6: Genetic Disorders in which Dilatation of the Aorta may Occur
Appendix 7: Genetic Disorders with Imprinting
Appendix 8: Genetic Resources and Support Organizations

About the author: 

Aubrey Milunsky, MD, D.S.c. is Professor of Human Genetics, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Pathology, and the Director of the Center for Human Genetics, at Boston University School of Medicine.

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