Genetic diseases: father’s age at issue

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father-child-geneticsAug 9, New York: Scientists have discovered that, like the mother, a late age of the father increases the risk of genetic disease in offspring.

“Often the mother is blamed in couples with a child with a genetic disease, notes Professor Lyonnet. It’s not fair. Today, there are enough data to tell men that after a certain age, it is not very reasonable to have children, because the genetic risk is also increased for them, “says Prof. Stanislas daily Lyonnet, head of the genetics department at the Necker Hospital in Paris.

Indeed, the scientists found that men who have children later expose them to several rare genetic diseases, such as neurofibromatosis, achondroplasia (a form of dwarfism), schizophrenia or autism. Thus, several studies conducted under the auspices of the National Institute of Health and U.S. published last April in the journal Nature showed that fathers of autistic boys are six times more often in their fortieth year than in their twenties, and seventeen times more often for girls with autism.

It is normal to find variations between the genomes of both parents and that of their child, their estimated number is between 70 and 80 on average. Measures by genome sequencing showed that “four out of five, mutations in DNA are of paternal origin. “Says Professor Lyonnet.

For many genetic diseases, such as neurofibromatosis, dwarfism, autism or schizophrenia, statistical studies have shown that the average age of the father was over 31 years (mean age of the conception of the first child).

This phenomenon has long remained unknown since the age of men is the cause of several diseases that are individually rare, unlike the mother’s age that concerns only trisomy 21.

This power transmission is due to spermatogenesis, according to scientists: it is made from stem cells, spermatogonial cells, which produce new sperm by successive divisions. After dozens of cell divisions, they have accumulated a number of mutations. Some can cause various diseases, including autism. Spermatogonia and older men who had more divisions progressively aging, these fathers are more likely to transmit these genetic mutations to their children.

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Posted by on Thursday, August 9th, 2012. Filed under Health, Life Style. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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