Genetics and Neuromuscular Diseases

Since the mid-1980s, science has made tremendous progress in understanding genetics, including the roles that genes play in certain diseases. "Genetics and Neuromuscular Diseases" gives an up-to-date review of genetics information relating to neuromuscular diseases.

This fact sheet describes just what a genetic disorder is, and explains how genetic testing and counselling can help people understand how disorders that may affect themselves or their children are inherited. It also gives examples of the major patterns of inheritance, with specific neuromuscular diseases as examples.

Finally, it looks at a little-known aspect of genetics called mitochondrial inheritance. If you have a neuromuscular disease, or would like to know more about a particular neuromuscular disease, you can find the specific fact sheet on the MDANSW website (, or contact the MDANSW office. Many genetic neuromuscular diseases involve more than one gene or have several inheritance patterns. If you want to learn about the genetics of your particular neuromuscular disorder, you'll need to consult a specialist. Your doctor can refer you to a geneticist or genetic counsellor for testing and information or you can contact the Centre for Genetics Education ( 

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