Albinism - Summary

Topics: Albinism, Charles Scribner's Sons, Melanin Pages: 2 (606 words) Published: October 15, 2012
In this essay we will be discussing a condition known as albinism. I will briefly explain what albinism is, how it's caused, and possible treatment options. Albinism is a condition characterized by a reduced or lack of pigment that normally gives color to skin, hair, and eyes. The cause of Albinism is that it's an inherited condition, present at birth. Albinism is passed from parents to children through genes. For most types of albinism, both parents must carry an albinism gene to have a child with albinism. Parents may have normal pigmentation but still carry the gene. When both parents carry the gene, and neither parent has albinism, there is a one-in-four chance at each pregnancy the baby will be born with albinism. According to Ferrara in the United States, albinism affects approximately one in 17,000 people, although certain types of albinism are more prevalent among specific groups of people (2010, p. 49). In some parts of Africa, for instance, about one in 1,000 people experience the condition (Ferrara, 2010, p. 49).

These disorders are generally divided into two forms. Oculocutaneous Albinism(OCA) which has 4 common types and Ocular Albinism(OA) which has 3 common types. OCA involves decreased pigment in the eyes, hair, and skin. While OA presents mainly in the eyes. The 4 types of OCA are OCA1, OCA2, OCA3, and OCA4. These 4 types of albinism are all caused by different gene's, which leads to specific sub-types within each of the 4 types. They all generally affect mainly the skin and hair, but some sub-types also affect the eye's as well. Now the 3 types of OA are OA1, OA2, and OASD(Ocular albinism with sensorineural deafness). Again with this form of albinism all 3 types are caused by different genes. OA1 and OA2 affect mainly just the eye's, while OASD affects both the eyes and hearing, which is implied by its name.

After briefly describing the most common types of albinism, we will now focus on treatment. To date...
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