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BUSM professor authors book on how knowledge about genes and family history can save lives

(Boston) World-renowned genetics expert Aubrey Milunsky, MD, DSc, has penned a new book focused on new DNA tests that have dramatically expanded our ability to avoid, prevent, diagnose, predict and treat many genetic disorders. Based on a lifetime of experience, he recounts the lessons learned from many families who benefitted from new advances in genetics, or could have, if they had only known. The book, Your Genes, Your Health: A Critical Family Guide That Could Save Your Life, provides important information about many genetic disorders, more especially since each of us unwittingly carries a significant number of harmful genes.

The National Institutes of Health Office of Rare Diseases reports that there are approximately 7,000 rare genetic disorders that affect about 1 out of every 12 people. In this non-technical comprehensive guide, Milunsky, who is Professor of Human Genetics, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pathology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), provides valuable information about many genetic disorders, including cancer, heart disease, autism, mental illness, intellectual disability, birth defects, neurologic disorders, diabetes, obesity and many more. He describes the various options available via genetic counseling for couples at risk of having a child with a genetic disorder, including carrier detection tests, prenatal diagnosis and preimplantation genetic diagnosis.

Milunsky underscores the importance of recognizing seemingly unrelated disorders in a family due to the same genetic mutation to illustrate the vital importance of understanding one's family history and ethnic origin. He also describes the most current tests that can diagnose or predict genetic disorders or that can detect carriers of many different harmful genes.

"Remarkable advances in genetic testing, coupled with people recognizing genetic and familial risk factors, frequently enable avoidance or prevention of serious or

Contact: Jenny Eriksen Leary
Boston University Medical Center

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