Research to be conducted on harmful effects of cousin marriages

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National University of Medical Sciences and University College London England have joined hands to work on the genetic neurological disorders which would help the affected families.

The research will be helpful for others for not to go for cousin marriages to avoid the possibility of genetic diseases in future generations.

Dr Sara Mumtaz from the NUMS Department of Biological Sciences is conducting research on inherited neurological disorders in Pakistan in collaboration with Dr Henry Houlden, Professor of Neurology and Neurogenetics, from Queen Square Institute of Neurology, UCL, England. An estimated 29 million people in Pakistan are suffering from genetic disorders attributed to cousin marriages.

Prof Houlden, was in Pakistan to attend a neurological conference and was specially invited by NUMS to deliver a lecture at its PWD Campus.

He gave a talk on the clinical and genetic aspects of neurological disorders to the faculty members of the NDBS. He referred to different molecular methods that were being used in diagnosis of disorders. He added that he would send report of each case after molecular diagnosis so that his work can be used for the benefit of family and patients.

Dr Sara Mumtaz said prevalence of genetic disorders was much higher in Pakistan as compared to Western countries. One adverse outcome of cousin marriages in our population is that it allows expression of recessive mutations in families, she added.

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