Genetic and Degenerative Diseases

Section 1: Understanding Genetic and Degenerative Diseases

  • Genetic diseases are disorders caused by abnormalities in an individual’s genome.
  • They are often inherited from the parents’ genes but can also be caused by mutations.
  • Degenerative diseases are conditions that deteriorate over time, where function or structure of affected tissues or organs progressively decline.
  • Examples include heart disease, Huntington’s disease, and some cancers.

Section 2: Distinguishing Genetic and Degenerative Diseases

  • Genetic diseases can be categorised into single gene, multifactorial, chromosome abnormalities, and mitochondrial.
  • Single-gene disorder is caused by changes or mutations that occur in the DNA sequence of one gene, such as cystic fibrosis.
  • Multifactorial genetic disorder is caused by a combination of environmental factors and mutations in several genes, for example, heart disease or diabetes.
  • Chromosome disorders are caused by changes in the number or structure of chromosomes including Down syndrome.
  • Mitochondrial genetic inheritance disorders result from mutations in the non-chromosomal DNA of mitochondria.
  • Examples of degenerative diseases include osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

Section 3: Symptoms and Diagnosis of Genetic and Degenerative Diseases

  • Symptoms of genetic and degenerative diseases can range from mild to severe and may not immediately appear at birth.
  • Diagnostic tests can confirm the presence of a genetic or degenerative disease. These tests include blood tests, gene tests and imaging tests.

Section 4: Treatment and Management of Genetic and Degenerative Diseases

  • There is currently no cure for many genetic and degenerative diseases, but treatments are available to manage symptoms.
  • Management of these diseases often involves regular medical care, physical therapy, medication and possibly surgery.
  • Gene therapy is a developing form of treatment that aims to replace faulty genes or add new genes to treat or prevent disease.

Remember, understanding the nature and impact of these diseases will be key to tackling questions on genetic and degenerative diseases. Regular revision and referencing case studies will give depth to your understanding.