Computational Biology / Bioinformatics/Answered Question

Expert: Sridhar Acharya Malkaram
Subject: mentally retarded couple - is it genetic or hereditary ?
Question: QUESTION: If a mentally retarded couple had a child, would it be mentally retarded?

i.e both parents are mentally retarded, the child born from them i.e offspring will also be born mentally retarded ?

thanks & regards,
prashant s akerkar

ANSWER: It depends on the cause of mental retardation.

For example, Fragile-X syndrome is charecterized by mental retardation and is inheritable as it is caused by mutation in a gene (FMR-1) in X chromosome.

There are also other causes of mental retardation, mainly resulting from developmental abnormality, leading to the development of an extra chromosome.  An extra chromosome results from faulty developments during meosis/gamate formation. Extra chromosomes in chromosomes 13,18 and  21 cause mental retardation effects. However these are not inheritable.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: dear sridhar

thank you.

as you mention "Extra chromosomes in chromosomes 13,18 and  21 cause mental retardation effects. However these are not inheritable."

i want your personal view, opinion about my thoughts.

social institutions, marriage bureaus keep a database of mentally retarded children and those children suffering from down syndrome
help them in getting married because i feel their offspring will not be
necessarily suffer from down syndrome i.e trisomy 21 as the down syndrome
is not a genetic or heritidary disease.

the joy of becoming parents for both suffering from down syndrome will
be accepted universally.

wouldn't be a noble cause ?

awaiting your reply,

thanks & regards,
prashant s akerkar
Answer: Dear Prashant,

I think I am not competent to tell whether it is biologically/socially advantageous or not, for the disabled children entering into marriage. For a suggestive opinion, you should ask the relevant expert.

However since you asked my personal view:
Disabled children need a helping hand and I think a companion with marriage, might be the most caring companion they can get. This is also their biological need.
But, it also depends on the level of their maturity to understand real life. Whether they can handle? Reproduction, child-bearing and care... etc, etc.
It is the responsibility of parents of the disabled children to think and take care these issues that further come up in life, and prepare them. I feel they should have a companion, and not lead a life alone.

Thanks and best wishes

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Sridhar Acharya Malkaram


Sequence and Structural Analysis, Next generation sequencing, Illumina, SOLiD, CHiP-sequencing, RNA sequencing, miRNA sequencing analysis, Molecular Dynamics, Protein and Nucleic acid simulations, computational methods, Bioinformatics tools, Biological Databases, Search techniques, Protein comparative modelling, Mutation analysis


about fifteen (15) years

Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Master of Science in Biotechnology Ph.D in computational Biology

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