Autosomal dominant inheritance is characterized by transmission of susceptibility from one generation to the next without skipping a generation. Except for new mutants, every susceptible child has a susceptible parent. In matings between a susceptible heterozygote and a normal homozygote, the proportion of susceptible children (the segregation frequency) averages one-half, including father-to-son transmission. The incidence of susceptible persons is the same in males and females. A representative pattern of the autosomal dominant inheritance of malignant hyperthermia is illustrated in Figure 5.2.28
Among autosomal dominant traits that cause disease, many are either not very life threatening, or if deleterious, their onset is delayed until later in life, as exemplified by Huntington's disease. In contrast, because of their latency in the absence of exposure to offending environmental agents, several autosomal dominant pharmacogenetic traits may occur predominantly in children and young adults.
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