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Genetic Polydactyly Disorder

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health
Wordcount: 954 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Genetic Disorders Project


Polydactyly is a common genetic disorder. It is a when someone with this disorder has an abnormal case of extra digits on their hands and / or feet. This disorder is usually found on the external side of the body. It is not common to be in the inter part of a body. Anyone can have polydactyly, such as animals or humans. There are a couple of ways to treat this disorder. The treatment is usually required for people that are concerned with their extra digits. Also, polydactyly is similar to the other genetic disorder, syndactyly. This genetic disorder affects many people. Polydactyly in the toes, especially the little toe, is a common malformation. It occurs in approximately two in 1,000 births and almost thirty percent of every child with polydactyly have relatives or family members with a particular type of polydactyly, or even syndactyly.

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Polydactyly refers to having extra digits in the hand and / or feet, extra fingers/ toes, and maybe even thumbs. This disorder is not sex linked and it can affect both males and females, although, males are more commonly affected. It is a dominant gene which means that if a child has a one parent with the trait and the gene, there is a 50% chance that the child will inherit it from the parent. It is sometimes a serious disorder but does not affect life span. You can have treatment for it but there is no prevention for this disorder. The treatment would to be to have a surgical procedure and have it taken off, as your own decision. The surgery for polydactyly is recommended, so if someone that is polydactyl decides to have the surgical procedure done, they usually would do it in their early years such as in there first 3 years at the most. If the parents or guardians decide not to have surgery, the child will most likely have to get used to the fact that they have extra fingers and realize its ability to adapt to it. If a child has a minor case of polydactyly, the doctor will probably tie it at its base to prevent the flow of blood and the digit will just fall off. A surgeon or doctor would probably recommend having it removed at the first appointment you have scheduled. There are different forms of this genetically related disorder. Some different forms are a small and extra bump on the affected side of the hand. The finger might also be widened. At the end of the fingertips, an extra finger may dangle by a thin and narrow cord, from the hand. And another form or type of polydactyly is when the hand, in which looks very normal except for possibly one extra digit, such as a thumb, and maybe five extra fingers. There are an infinite number of variations for this disorder.

Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertius (1698-1759) was the person that discovered polydactyly. He explained that the disorder can be found and inherited by the mother or the father. He demonstrated the trait as the result of mutation and provided the first accurate record of the transmission of a dominant trait in humans. It is a dominant trait in some communities. As a group, polydactyly affects mostly African Americans in a community.

There are many causes for polydactyly. The causes are sometimes very bad and harmful. Of the many causes, some are rare and some are common. These are some causes:

  • Ellis-van Creveld syndrome (chondroectodermal dysplasia)
  • Carpenter syndrome
  • Trisomy 13
  • Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome
  • Smith-Lemli-Opitz
  • Laurence-Moon-Biedl syndrome
  • Asphyxiating thoracic dystrophy

Yet these causes are not very well known, but, they can be difficult to deal with or handle.

Polydactyly occurs in many people and in different types of people. Polydactyly occurs in one out of a thousand births. Usually right after a birth, the doctor or pediatrician suggests that the baby has the extra digit (toe or finger / thumb) surgically taken or removed off. This disorder results and takes place more in males. They are more commonly affected than females are. Also, African Americans are affected more by this disorder.

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Polydactyly and another genetic disorder called Syndactyly are closely related. To their extent, there are many similarities between the two genetic disorders. Polydactyly starts out as a paddle and then divides or splits into fingers very carefully. Since polydactyly strikes an appearance and arises, extra fingers are formed and created in a different way. In result of syndactyly, the same process is in occurrence and the only dissimilarity is that webbed fingers consequently resolute as an outcome. Webbed fingers are hard to control and cope with. It is hard to get a good grip and hold numerous objects or items.

There are many symptoms of polydactyly and being diagnosed with the disorder. The symptoms consist of having more than normal number of digits of either the hand or foot, or having more than five on each hand or foot. The symptoms of polydactyly are:

  • More toes than normal
  • More fingers than normal
  • Extra digit on hand
  • Extra digit on foot

Polydactyly is a common trait among cats. It seems that mostly Celtic cats and cats on part of America’s Eastern coast and South West Britain are diagnosed with polydactyly. This makes them polydactyl cats, such as humans that have polydactyly because they are polydactyl humans. Also, natural selection takes place in polydactyly in which it is in ordered form and not by random.


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