Family Genetic History and Mental Illnesses

Family Genetic History

Family Member Description
Paternal grandfather
First and last initials:
Alexander Orwell
Birthdate: 1938
Death date: 2013
Occupation: Pharmacist
Education: College
Primary language: English
Health summary: High blood pressure, colon cancer in 2000 (treated successfully), osteoporosis. Died of a stroke.
Paternal grandmother
First and last initials:
Sarah Orwell
Birthdate: 1944
Death date: 2006
Occupation: Nurse
Education: College
Primary language: English
Health summary: Had rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and high blood pressure. Died from an accidental fall at home that led to a head injury.
Father
First and last initials:
Hamilton Orwell
Birthdate: 1960
Death date: Still alive
Occupation: Interpreter
Education: Master in Translation and Interpretation
Primary language: English
Health summary: High blood pressure, insomnia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Father’s siblings (write a brief summary of any significant health issues) An older sister died of lung cancer in 2002
An older brother, still alive, has GAD
Maternal grandfather
First and last initials:
William Hamill
Birthdate: 1942
Death date: 2015
Occupation: Actor
Education: College
Primary language: English
Health summary: Had arthritis, high blood pressure, and a stroke in 2004. Died of an aortic aneurysm.
Maternal grandmother
First and last initials:
Mary Hamill
Birthdate: 1948
Death date: 2012
Occupation: University professor
Education: Ph.D. in history
Primary language: English
Health summary: Had a cataract, high blood pressure, and tuberculosis in 1987. Died of Alzheimer’s disease.
Mother
First and last initials:
Jennifer Orwell
Birthdate: 1968
Death date: Still alive
Occupation: Counselor
Education: Master’s Degree in Psychology
Primary language: English
Health summary: Anemia, fatigue, vision problems (poor eyesight)
Mother’s siblings (write a brief summary of any significant health issues) A younger brother has obesity, vision problems
Adult Participant
First and last initials:
Mark Orwell
Birthdate: 1989
Death date: Alive
Occupation: Financial manager at an IT company
Education: Master’s Degree in Finance
Primary language: English
Health summary: Was diagnosed with GAD, had alcohol addiction (treated)
Adult participant’s siblings (write a brief summary of any significant health issues) No siblings or other relatives
Adult participant’s spouse/significant other
First and last initials:
Patricia Orwell (wife)
Birthdate: 1992
Death date: Alive
Occupation: Online bookstore manager
Education: College
Primary language: English
Health summary: Diagnosed with eczema
Adult participant’s children (write a summary for each child, up to four children)
Child #1 first and last initials:
Liam Orwell
Birthdate: 2017
Death date: Alive
Occupation: N/A
Education: N/A
Primary language: English
Health summary: Excessive crying, umbilical hernia (was not treated as considered normal)
Child #2 first and last initials: N/A
Birthdate: N/A
Death date: N/A
Occupation: N/A
Education: N/A
Primary language: N/A
Health summary: N/A
Child #3 first and last initials: N/A
Birthdate: N/A
Death date: N/A
Occupation: N/A
Education: N/A
Primary language: N/A
Health summary: N/A
Child #4 first and last initials: N/A
Birthdate: N/A
Death date: N/A
Occupation: N/A
Education: N/A
Primary language: N/A
Health summary: N/A

Evaluation of family genetic history

The adult participant in the case study does not have any major complaints except for GAD, with which he was recently diagnosed. As participant’s father and his brother were also diagnosed with GAD, it is possible that the disease will relapse from time to time, although it is currently controlled by therapy sessions and prescribed medicine. Furthermore, relatives both from maternal and paternal sides have high blood pressure, which significantly increases the chance that Mark will be diagnosed with hypertension as well. It is also evident that GAD is a genetic disease in this case. Several cases of different types of arthritis (RA and arthritis) also indicate that the adult participant is at a certain risk of developing this disease. As Kurkó et al. (2013) point out, the heritability of the disease (RA) is approximately 60%, which can be considered as a significant risk factor since paternal grandmother had this disease.

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Vision problems that maternal grandmother and mother of the participant had should also be taken into consideration. It is advisable to consult an ophthalmologist from time to time to track any possible eyesight problems early in their development. Single cases of cancer, obesity, and anemia are also present; their risk is moderate. The case of colon cancer is less likely to be hazardous as this cancer was treated successfully. However, annual screenings still should be considered by the participant due to the fact that one of the relatives died of lung cancer. Both obesity and anemia can be prevented by changes in lifestyle and diet, for example by adding specific supplements if necessary or changing the diet significantly. As the participant is already diagnosed with GAD, he needs to ensure that his alcohol addiction is managed in order to prevent complications. Additionally, insomnia diagnosed in the participant’s father can also be the cause of GAD, which requires additional monitoring of Mark’s psychological well-being.

Planning for future wellness

The major risks that were detected during the evaluation are mental illnesses (GAD and subsequent insomnia), vision/eyesight problems, and arthritis. As the participant is already diagnosed with GAD, it is advisable to use suitable treatment methods. For example, Cuijpers et al. (2014) found that applied relaxation can be useful in the short-term, and CBT is more effective in the long-term. If necessary, treatment with medication can also be considered. In order to address potential eyesight problems, annual check-ups at an ophthalmologist seem to be a reasonable intervention to reduce the risk of undiagnosed or untreated vision issues in the participant. The presence of a cataract in one of the participant’s relatives indicates that the risk of developing a severe eyesight disease is high.

It is also advisable to spend less time using digital devices to avoid their negative influence on the individual’s vision and prescribe eye drops if the individual is diagnosed with dry eye syndrome or similar illnesses. Additionally, to prevent the development of arthritis at such age, the participant needs to be referred to a general therapist or a rheumatologist for a consultation. He can expect that the changes in his lifestyle will not be significant; regular exercise three or four times per week might be enough to prevent the development of diseases related to arthritis. Additional attention can be paid to the presence of cancer and obesity. Obesity can be prevented with the same intervention as arthritis: regular exercise that, in addition, could be combined with a balanced diet (less junk food and more components seen in the Mediterranean diet). As it was noted earlier, annual cancer screenings are necessary to rule out the risk of (colon or lung) cancer in the participant, although he does not currently express any complaints that could be connected to this diseases.

References

Cuijpers, P., Sijbrandij, M., Koole, S., Huibers, M., Berking, M., & Andersson, G. (2014). Psychological treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 34(2), 130-140.

Kurkó, J., Besenyei, T., Laki, J., Glant, T. T., Mikecz, K., & Szekanecz, Z. (2013). Genetics of rheumatoid arthritis — a comprehensive review. Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology, 45(2), 170-179.

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