Genetic Diseases & Disorders Research

Question: What is wrong with this woman's hands?

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease

Answer: Her deformed hands are a symptom of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a disorder caused by a genetic defect.

In this project, you'll become an expert about a specific genetic disorder. You'll find out about the symptoms and causes of the disease, whether there are any treatments or cures, and what the prognosis (life expectation) is for someone who has the disease.

Once you've completed research on "your" disorder, you'll pair up with another student to create a double-bubble map, comparing and contrasting the two disorders you studied.

Finally, you'll have a chance to reflect on what you've learned by writing a paragraph describing your reaction to a genetic disease.

As you do your research, you'll be looking for information on the following subtopics:

Description/Causes: Describe the genetic problem that causes the disorder (what genetic abnormality causes it?). Do not confuse genetic causes of your disorder (things you're born with) with risk factors, or triggers, for your disorder (things that happen to you after you're born).

How do doctors know that someone has this disorder? (The symptoms may be physical, mental, or emotional.) What kind of tests might they run to confirm their diagnosis?

Treatments & Prognosis:
What can be done to help relieve the symptoms of the disorder? (This may include tests, medications, physical therapy, diet, or exercise.) How long do people with this disorder survive? How is their quality of life?

Ready to get started? Click on the name of your disorder on the left to start your research. Remember to record your information in your research packet.

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