Author Question: X-linked Disorders

Carol Asks:

I have a female character, about 20 years old, who was adopted in a closed adoption. Her biological mother now has a son. He’s likely in his teens but may be younger. I’m not really sure yet if it matters unless it affects the answer to this question.

The biological mother discovers that her son has some sort of disease that is carried by women but only affects men. The biological mother then seeks out seeks out my character. Bio mom didn’t know if the adopted child was a boy or a girl and wanted to let the child know that either she could be a carrier or he could be affected, depending on gender, of course.

Ideally, I’d like something that is sufficiently serious [not like… color blindness] to warrant seeking out the adopted child, but not deadly in childhood especially but also prefer it to be something that could go unnoticed until adulthood and then managed, even if not cured.

Does that make sense? Is there anything that fits the bill?

I found the wiki on X-linked chromosomes, but so much of it looks like Greek to me.

Jordyn Says:

You were off to a great start researching X-linked disorders. These are disorders carried on the X chromosome and therefore passed along from the mother to her child.  

I sat down with a doctor friend and we came up with two possibilities of X-linked disorders that would present later in life but are fairly serious enough to warrent a biological parent hunting them down.

They are:

1. McLeod Syndrome (this might be your best option).

As stated from the link: McLeod neuroacanthocytosis syndrome is a primarily neurological disorder that occurs almost exclusively in males. This disorder affects movement in many parts of the body. People with this condition also have abnormal star-shaped red blood cells (acanthocytosis). This condition is one of a group of disorders called neuroacanthocytoses that involve neurological problems and abnormal red blood cells.

The signs and symptoms of McLeod neuroacanthocytosis syndrome usually begin in mid-adulthood. Behavioral changes, such as lack of self-restraint, the inability to take care of oneself, anxiety, depression, and changes in personality may be the first signs of this condition. While these behavioral changes are typically not progressive, the movement problems and intellectual impairments that are characteristic of this condition tend to worsen with age.

2. XMEN Disease

XMEN Disease might take a while to diagnose and put you closer into the time frame of your question. It might be discovered after the child presents with frequent infections.

Hope this helps and good luck!

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