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December 1978

The Genetic Approach to Human Disease,

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center 750 E Adams St Syracuse, NY 13210


by Vincent M. Riccardi, 273 pp, 38 illus, $13.95 ($7.95 paper), Oxford University Press, 1977.

Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(12):1221-1222. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120370073023

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


According to the author, this book is designed to show what the clinical application of genetic principles can accomplish. In the introductory chapters, the reader is introduced to the contemporary working claṡsification of medical genetics: chromosomal disorders, disorders with Mendelian patterns of inheritance, and polygenic disorders. There is an abbreviated chapter on biochemical errors of inheritance. This is followed by chapters on environmental influences on the fetus, genetic evaluation, prenatal diagnosis, genetic evaluation and counseling, roles of ancillary personnel in clinical genetics, therapy of genetic disorders, pharmacogenetics, ethical, moral, and legal aspects, and finally a description of a regional genetic counseling program.

The chapters on pharmacogenetics, biochemical disorders, and ethical, moral, and legal aspects are very short, and hardly can present an adequate picture of this complicated subject. The final chapter describing a regional genetic counseling program seems not adequately relevant in this textbook. In fairness to the author, it

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