A gene carries information about things that are passed on to you by your parents. This might be things like eye colour, or what colour your hair is. It can also include disabilities, illnesses or conditions.
What is a gene?
Each cell in the human body contains about 25,000 to 35,000 genes. A gene carries information about things that are passed on to you by your parents. This might be things like the colour of your hair and eyes, or the shape of your hands and feet. It can also include disabilities and conditions.
What causes a genetic condition?
Some genetic conditions are caused by genes that don’t work properly. Genes that have been changed are called mutations. Other disabilities and conditions happen when there are missing genes or extra parts of genes.
What does it mean?
People are born with a genetic condition, it cannot be caught like a cold. In families, some of the children are born with a genetic condition but other children aren’t.
What treatment is there?
At the moment, genetic conditions cannot be cured. People who have genetic conditions can have different treatments to help them cope better with their disability or condition. Gene therapy is a new kind of medicine. It is still being tested but one thing scientists are looking at is replacing sick genes with healthy ones. Research like this may lead to new ways to treat or prevent many genetic conditions.