One type of albinism, called X-linked ocular albinism, is inherited from the mother. In this case, the gene for albinism is located on an X chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes, while males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. X-linked ocular albinism appears almost exclusively in males. The gene for it is passed from mothers (who carry it without developing the condition) to their sons. The mothers generally have normal vision. For each son born to a mother who carries the gene, there is a one-in-two chance of having X-linked ocular albinism.

Albinism occurs in about one in 17,000 births.

Image reprinted, with permission, from Wygnanski-Jaffe T, Focal Points, Introductory Genetics for the Ophthalmologist, American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2005.

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