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Newly Published Research on Inheritance of Hyperhidrosis

By: Dr. Hratch L. Karamanoukian

November 23, 2006

Newly published research (Clin Auton Res 13(2):96-8) seems to indicate that primary hyperhidrosis has an autosomal mode of inheritance.

The study, published in April 2003 by Kaufmann and colleagues from the Department of Neurology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA, suggests that primary hyperhidrosis is an autosomal disorder with incomplete penetance.

They studied the inheritance of this disorder since their study reiterated that a large percent (62%) of patients with primary hyperhidrosis indicated that they had a family history of hyperhidrosis.  Examination of these pedigrees demonstrated a sibling recurrence risk and an offspring recurrence risk indicating that hyperhidrosis can be an inherited condition.

Autosomal dominant inheritance is the type of inheritance of a gene whereby the trait is expressed in a dominant fashion even if only one copy of a gene (of possible two) is present in the offspring.

However, penetrance defines the degree in which the gene is expressed. For example, the offspring of a parent with severe hyperhidrosis who has a mild form of hyperhidrosis has incomplete penetrance of the purported dominant gene for hyperhidrosis. That is, the offspring would have had complete penetrance of this dominant trait if he or she also had severe hyperhidrosis. Since the offspring has a partial trait, a mild form of hyperhidrosis, then the dominant gene is passed on to the offspring in an incomplete form, i.e. incomplete penetrance.


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For more information about hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) , as well as surgical and non-surgical hyperhidrosis treatment options, contact Dr. Karamanoukian at The Center for Excessive Sweating, a National Center of Excellence for Hyperhidrosis Treatment by email or by phone at (716) 839-3638.

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