Glossary Term:


ataxia-telangiectasia mutation (ATM)


a-<b>tax</b>-ee-yuh tel-<b>an</b>-jee-eck-<b>TAY</b>-zhuh


An inherited mutation in a certain gene responsible for repairing damaged DNA. Ataxia-telangiectasia is a rare, inherited, progressive, degenerative disease of childhood that causes loss of muscle control, a weakened immune system, and an increased risk of cancer. If this mutation is present, the carrier may have a higher risk of several types of cancer.