Understanding Genetics
A Primer for Couples and Families
by Angela Scheuerle
April 2005, 224pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-98189-1
$55, £43, 48€, A76
Paperback: 978-0-313-36181-4
$35, £27, 31€, A48
eBook Available: 978-0-313-06797-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Genetics and genetic disorders are demystified for couples, parents and patients in this guide written by a leading official in the field.

One in every 100 Americans is born with a serious genetic disorder, and more will face a disease with genetic components in their lifetime. In the past decade, fledgling genetic science has identified more than 4,000 diseases connected to genetic factors. Genetic doctors and testing have become relatively common. But what is genetics’? How do these doctors and their tests work, and what if anything can they change? Dr. Scheuerle walks us through this new field and explains the basics, detailing diseases and disordes that can present in each life stage: in infancy and childhood, in puberty and adolescence, and in adulthood as well as old age. The text addresses genetic issues that might be considered in pregnancy and pregnancy planning. Also discussed are prenatal testing procedures, and talking about genetic disease with children and teenagers.


"With considerable information regarding pregnancy and prenatal diagnosis, her book is specifically oriented to the parents of a child, infant, or fetus diagnosed with a genetic disorder. Common genetic testing and diagnostic screening, the basics of DNA and chromosomes, myths about inheritance and birth defects, and a comprehensive glossary are included. The book offers an excellent description of the roles of the various professionals one is apt to interact with when involved with managing a genetic disorder for oneself or a family member. The author discusses relevant points on ethical and legal issues that could assist readers in making an informed decision regarding a family member with a genetic disorder. Recommended. Two-year technical college students in the health sciences; general readers."—Choice, October 1, 2005

"Scheuerle explains the basic principles of genetics and describes possible genetic diseases and disorders that can arise in each life stage, from infancy to old age. She addresses genetic factors that might be considered in pregnancy and pregnancy planning and discusses prenatal testing procedures. The text is a useful resource for families with concerns about genetics and about becoming active in their own health care."—SciTech Book News, March 1, 2006

"There is no better place for the concerned parent to turn to for scientific and medical insights on their questions about genetics than Doctor Scheuerle's Understanding Genetics: A Primer for Couples and Families. Given that one in every 100 Americans is born with a serious genetic disorder, issues are more clearly defined in modern times, requiring Understanding Genetics for a basic primer. Chapters survey the science of genetics, how it works, and what things doctors can change. The genetics of both common childhood and adult disorders are all discussed."—MBR Internet Bookwatch/Library Bookwatch, October 1, 2005

"Excellent primer on genetics for those not versed in medicine. Difficult medical terminology is explained using clear, easy to understand words. This is a book I would recommend reading before visiting a Geneticist. It provides the reader with a basic understanding of genetics and the background to better discuss medical concerns with a doctor."—Richard Nielsen, Elementary Educator

"[A]n interesting and informative book, which will be of great help to persons and families who are dealing with the possibility or presence of genetic diseases. Strengths of the book include placing genetics into the contexts of peoples' lives, providing a scientific basis to help support them in making decisions consistent with their own moral principles and beliefs about health and medical care."—Lowell E. Sever, Ph.D., Professor of Epidemiology, University of Texas School of Public Health

"While I have some general knowledge of the topics covered, I quickly encountered new information that broadened my appreciation of the current practices of medical genetics. Had this information been as readily available twenty-five years ago when my oldest son was tested, I could have made more informed decisions. Now, I will be able to offer him better advice about genetic counseling if he chooses to have a family. Dr. Scheuerle's approach should be very useful for her intended audience."—Edward P. Kirven, Professor of Chemistry and Chair, Health Professions Advisory Committee, University of the South

"The great strides occuring in modern medical science increase the chances that a patient will be referred to a physician who specializes in genetics, bringing everyday people in contact with what to them is a new, confusing, and complicated portion of the medical world. Dr. Scheuerle provides clearly articulated information and advice to persons who find themselves in such a situation and who want to know more about this fascinating branch of medicine."—Steverson O. Moffat, Ph.D., Policy Analyst, USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station, Adjunct Professor of Forestry at Tulane University
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