Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Autosomal Recessive Disease - Topic Overview

Autosomal recessive diseases are genetic diseases that are passed to a child through both parents' chromosomes.

Each person inherits 23 chromosomes from each parent and so has 23 pairs of chromosomes. Each chromosome contains genes. One or both of the chromosomes in a pair may contain a changed (mutated) gene that could cause a genetic disease. In an autosomal recessive disease, both chromosomes in a pair must have a changed gene for the person to have the disease. If only one chromosome has a changed gene, the person is a carrier and does not have symptoms.

If both parents carry the gene change, there is a:

  • 25% chance in each pregnancy that their child will inherit the changed gene from each parent (two genes) and have the disease.
  • 50% chance in each pregnancy that their child will receive one changed gene and be a carrier.
  • 25% chance in each pregnancy that their child will not receive the changed gene and be neither a carrier nor have the disease.

If only one parent carries the gene change, there is a 50% chance in each pregnancy that the child will:

  • Receive the changed gene and be a carrier.
  • Not receive the changed gene and be neither a carrier nor have the disease.

If neither parent carries the gene change, the child will not have this type of disease.

See a diagram of the chances of passing on an autosomal recessive disease camera.gif.

Autosomal recessive diseases include Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD), and phenylketonuria (PKU).

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 29, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Autosomal Recessive Disease Topics

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply