X-linked recessive genetic defects - how girls are affected
There are several X-linked (or sex-linked) recessive genetic disorders, (hemophilia, muscular dystrophy) which are inherited through a genetic defect on an X chromosome. A female has 2 X chromosomes, one she inherited from her mother and one she got from her father. A male has an X chromosome from his mother and a Y chromosome from his father. Females may get the defective gene either from her mother's defective X, or, if her father has the disorder, from her father. In either case, the girl will be a carrier and will probably pass the defect to her offspring. She will not manifest the disorder the way a boy would, because she has 2 X chromosomes, and the dominant X will compensate for the defect on the recessive X. Only if a female has 2 parents with the defect on their X chromosomes will she get a milder form of the disorder.
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.