Determining Genetic Risk is an interactive web program designed to teach students in a clinical genetics course to:
1. Interpret a family history and draw a pedigree using symbols to indicate:
Males, females, and fetuses
Affected family members
2. Determine, from looking at the pedigree, what the mode of inheritance
is likely to be:
3. Calculate risk for specific family members.
The Importance of a Pedigree
Recording a family history as a pedigree diagram clarifies and organizes verbal information. Using symbols to denote the family history can also take less time than writing it down as text.
For instance, compare this description to a pedigree diagram :
A 20-year-old female comes to clinic with questions about her
risk for carrying the gene for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Her brother
died with DMD. Her mother also has two brothers who died with DMD, and
they believe her grandmother, had a brother with DMD also.
If you look at this pedigree diagram, what do you notice?
The affected individuals are all males.
The affected males are all related through females.
Given these facts, what inheritance pattern might come to mind?
Would you have been able to determine the inheritance pattern as easily from the text family history?
A family history pedigree can be used as a tool to help:
determine the pattern of inheritance
make a medical diagnosis
decide which family members need testing
calculate risk for various family members
To review a case click on a link in the above menu.