Genetic Disease (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Single gene inheritance

Single gene inheritance, also called Mendelian or monogenetic inheritance. This type of inheritance is caused by changes or mutations that occur in the DNA sequence of a single gene. There are more than 6,000 known single-gene disorders, which occur in about 1 out of every 200 births. These disorders are known as monogenetic disorders (disorders of a single age).

Some examples of monogenetic disorders include:

Single-gene disorders are inherited in recognizable patterns: autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, and X-linked.

Multifactorial inheritance

Multifactorial inheritance, also called complex or polygenic inheritance. Multifactorial inheritance disorders are caused by a combination of environmental factors and mutations in multiple genes. For example, different genes that influencebreast cancer susceptibility have been found on chromosomes 6, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, and 22. Some common chronic diseases are multifactorial disorders.

Examples of multifactorial inheritance include:

Multifactorial inheritance also is associated with heritable traits such as fingerprint patterns, height, eye color, and skin color.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/15/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Genetic Disease - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of a genetic disease in you or a relative?
Genetic Disease - Screening Question: Have you been screened for a genetic disease? Please share your story.
Genetic Disease - Personal Experience Question: Is there a genetic disease in your family? Please share your experience.