Can genetic changes be inherited?

Yes. A CNV or a gene change in just one gene can be passed from parent to child. However, gene changes are not always inherited. Sometimes, the gene change or alteration is present for the first time in a child.

Genetic studies performed on the parents can tell us whether or not this is the case. If we find the same genetic change in a parent that we identified in a child, then we know it was inherited. If we do not find the same genetic change in a parent that we identified in a child, then we know it is “de novo,” or new in the child.

We all carry genetic changes that we inherited from our parents and that we may pass to our children. Sometimes these genetic changes have health and developmental consequences. Most often, we don’t know about our genetic changes.

Genetic changes, or “variations" are important because it makes every person a little bit different. This is why we all have different appearances, behaviors, height, health maintenance, etc.


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