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Medical genetics focuses on diagnosing and managing genetic conditions. Genetic conditions are caused by changes in the body's instructions, or genes. While genes are passed from parent to child, genetic conditions are not always inherited.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota helps families understand genetic conditions, like chromosomal disorders and single-gene disorders. With one of the largest genetics programs in the region, we see more than 2,000 children and teens every year.

Many conditions can have a genetic cause, so our team is involved with different departments throughout Children's. Pediatric cancers, congenital heart defects, cleft palate, hearing loss, seizures and other problems can have genetic components. We help identify the genetic diagnosis in order to aid medical treatment.

We are the only genetics clinic in Minnesota that focuses entirely on caring for kids with genetic conditions. We're dedicated to using all of the resources available in the most appropriate way to better understand what's going on.

Some of the possible benefits of a genetics evaluation include:

  • Finding an answer that explains a child's differences. Genetic conditions can cause many different symptoms that at first seem unrelated, but a "unifying diagnosis" explains them all.
  • If a genetic condition is found, we can use that information to take better care of a child because we know what else to look for.
  • If a genetic condition is found, we can give families an idea of what to expect for their child's health and development now and in the future.
  • If a genetic condition is found, we can talk about the risks to other family members, including parents and siblings, and decided if any of them need testing or not. We also discuss whether the condition is one that runs in families and the chance it could happen again in the future.

We specialize in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of genetic conditions — from the very common to the most complex and rare — and will work with patients and families every step of the way.


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