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Albinism Causes 3

Page history last edited by Kaleigh Volpp 14 years, 7 months ago

Causes of Albinism 

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     Albinism is a group of inherited conditions caused by alteration, or mutation, of one of the genes that affect normal pigment production. Mutation in any one of  several genes involved in melanin production can produce indivisuals with less than normal amounts of melanin When melanin is absent from the skin the skin burns, because it has no protection against ultraviolet light. The risk for skin cancer in an albino is very high. Lack of melanin in the retina leads to lessened visual acuity.[1]

Illustration of skin layers, where melanin is produced

Footnotes

  1. Cheney , Richard. "Albinos." Magill's Medical Guide. Pasedena, CA: Salem Press, Inc., 2005. Print.

Comments (2)

Matthew Riggen said

at 10:03 am on Oct 29, 2009

Could an albino become blind if they were in the sun long enough?

Sarah Lorenz said

at 5:36 pm on Nov 1, 2009

I never thought about someone with albinism having a higher risk of getting skin cancer. Because of the lack of melanin and protection from the sun, it makes a lot of sense. Very interesting.

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