Genders face different risks from same genetic disorder

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Clinical symptoms of a rare genetic disorder, called neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), vary between genders, according to a new study from Washington University in St. Louis.

The condition, which affects about 1 in every 2,500 births, can lead to brain tumors, impaired vision, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. Researchers examined data collected from the Washington University Neurofibromatosis Center, and found girls were more likely to experience vision loss from NF1, and boys were more likely to develop learning disabilities.

“We’re currently working to determine whether differences in the sex hormones are responsible for these abnormalities in vision and memory,” researcher David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, was quoted as saying. “Further understanding of the interplay between sex and NF1 may change the way we manage individuals with this common brain tumor predisposition syndrome.”

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