How are channelopathies inherited?


We all have genes in every cell in our body. Genes are a set of instructions that code for who we are. We have thousands of genes all carrying different instructions. We have two copies of every gene. We get one copy from our mum and one copy from our dad.

A change or “mistake” in a gene can cause a genetic disease. This genetic change can be passed on (inherited) in two ways:

  • Dominant
  • Recessive

Dominant inheritance

Paramyotonia congenita, hyperPP, hypoPP, ATS and dominant myotonia congenita are all inherited in this way. In all these conditions you will have a 50% chance of passing the condition on to each child.

Recessive inheritance

Recessive myotonia congenita is the only muscle channelopathy inherited in this way. If you have recessive myotonia congenita you would not be expected to pass on your condition to your children unless your partner is also a carrier.

Understanding the inheritance of your disease

Whether you have a dominant or recessively inherited condition will depend on which genetic mutation you have. This will be discussed in your clinic consultation with your doctor.

In some situations, genetic counselling may also be recommended. Family planning and Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis can also be discussed.