Are there good and bad genes? What role do genes play in disease?

The answer depends on the disease. Most rare diseases have a strong genetic component, where 1 mutation in 1 gene causes a serious disease. In contrast, common diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure are multifactorial, and result from complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors.

What does this mean for prevention and treatment? Despite knowing the exact specific mutation, or combination of mutations, causing a disease, very few therapeutic approaches, either a drug or an environmental change, exist for genetic diseases. A better knowledge of the genetic causes of a disease can lead to a better outcome.

What does genes tell us about disease and how can this help in finding a treatment? Can discoveries in the field of rare disease translate into benefits for everyone?

Join us for a discussion and to learn more on this issue.