Albinism generally can't be prevented. It often occurs in families who have no history of the disorder. However, in cases where parents suspect that they may be carriers because of a family history, genetic testing may help identify whether or not both parents carry a certain genetic mutation that could cause albinism in their children. In addition, if both parents know they are carriers, prenatal tests can be done to determine if a fetus has inherited the mutations that can cause albinism.
A genetic counselor can help you understand your chances of having a child with albinism. He or she can also explain the available tests and help you figure out the pros and cons of testing for you.
Apr. 02, 2011
- Hornyak TJ. Albinism and other genetic disorders of pigmentation. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2959771. Accessed Feb. 21, 2011.
- Albinism. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/sec10/ch123/ch123b.html. Accessed Feb. 19, 2011.
- Gronskov K, et al. Oculocutaneous albinism. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. 2007;2:43.
- What is albinism? National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH). http://www.albinism.org/publications/2010/What_is_Albinism.pdf. Accessed Feb. 19, 2011.
- Summers CG. Albinism: Classification, clinical characteristics, and recent findings. Optometry and Vision Science. 2009;86:659.
- Oculocutaneous albinism. Genetics Home Reference. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/oculocutaneous-albinism/show/print. Accessed Feb. 21, 2011.