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Six generations of ill-used children in a Huntington's pedigree
  1. J. E. Oliver,
  2. K. E. Dewhurst


    This Huntington's pedigree of six generations illustrates the interaction of environmental and genetic factors causing prolonged suffering to children reared in such families.

    This pedigree is representative of many others studied in depth involving at least 425 families. In general, children reared in these families later manifest subtle anti-social tendencies. Even when these children do not carry the specific gene themselves, the consequences of their upbringing results in psychiatric and anti-social sequelae in their adult lives. These are most serious where both parents are psychotic. In such cases the third generation is almost invariably crippled by alcoholism, chronic neurosis or psychopathy, initiating ‘problem families’ in subsequent generations.

    Attention is drawn to recent legislation concerning family planning and therapeutic abortion which are still, unfortunately, the only means of preventing the devastating hereditary consequences of this disease.

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