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

Overview

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 ...

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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From Tay-Sachs to hypertension, "every aspect of health and all disease is controlled, regulated, modulated, or influenced by your genes, ....but the results of their dysfunction can frequently be remedied." A professor and doctor of pediatrics, genetics, and internal medicine, Milunsky (Genetic Disorders and the Fetus: Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment) provides a thorough manual invaluable to the layperson trying to determine if a condition is inheritable and how to prevent its passing to future generations. In language that clearly and concisely communicates details of medical treatments and genetics, the reader is instructed in the biology of genetic traits, how mutations are diagnosed, and how to assemble a family health history. From there, Milunsky moves on to a complete catalog of genetic disorders, including those caused by missing chromosomes, mutations of a particular gene, and those that increase cancer risk. Readers will appreciate anecdotes from his years of clinical practice that illustrate the impact of genetic diseases on individuals, families, and society.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Luis F. Escobar, MD, MS (St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center)
Description: Designed for the general public, this book describes current medical genetics concepts in simple terms and uses anecdotal cases to help clarify complex genetic information.
Purpose: It is intended as guide to medical genetics for lay readers, both as an informational tool and as a way to raise awareness of the importance of genetics in human disease.
Audience: The audience includes the general public and nonmedical professionals seeking information about advances in medical genetics. It is written in simple language that makes it accessible to readers with all levels of knowledge in human genetics.
Features: This is a well-organized effort with a good logical sequence to immerse readers in the world of human genetics. It translates the complex scientific information into easy to read material and avoids biases. Each entry in the book provides vignettes of clinical situations that make the information more accessible to readers without sacrificing any scientific merit. Of particular interest is the chapter on irrevocability and acceptance. A series of appendixes at the end of the book can be used as quick reference material for commonly encountered questions.
Assessment: This book is extremely well done. The author's ability to provide unbiased information to the general public is unique and there are very few comparable books. It is an excellent tool not only for genetic counseling, but also to raise awareness of the importance of human genetics in our daily lives.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199792078
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/13/2011
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Contents

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
Index

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