Atlanta Jewish Gene Screen Conducts Community Wide Screening for 19 Preventable Jewish Genetic Diseases
ATLANTA, Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — On November 13, 2011, a community-wide screening for potential carriers of 19 Jewish genetic diseases will be conducted from 2 – 5:45 PM at the Marcus Jewish Community Center, located at 5342 Tilly Mill Rd in Dunwoody. Individuals must be pre-registered and may obtain information regarding insurance coverage and costs at www.atlantajewishgenescreen.org. The screening is coordinated by the Atlanta Jewish Gene Screen (AJGS), an organization funded by The Marcus Foundation in partnership with the Victor Center for Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and Emory Genetics.
In the past, prospective parents had no way of knowing whether they were carriers of a genetic disease that could threaten the health and life of their children — until it was too late and a child became sick. For Jewish individuals of Central and Eastern European descent from countries such as Poland, Russia, Germany, Austria, and Lithuania, the potential danger is particularly great, since one in five of these Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier for at least one of 19 different genetic diseases, which strike in childhood, have no cure, and can lead to an early death.
A simple blood test is all that is necessary to screen for the current Jewish genetic disease panel of 19. AJGS recommends that all at-risk individuals — including interfaith couples — should be screened with the Jewish partner being screened first. Individuals with one or more Jewish grandparents are considered at risk. Couples should be screened prior to each pregnancy for any new diseases, since with advances in testing, the list of known genetic diseases is constantly being expanded.
AJGS was founded by Atlanta couple Caroline and Randy Gold, whose daughter Eden was born in 2008 with Mucolipidosis Type 4 (ML4), a progressive and debilitating neurological disorder beginning in infancy. The Gold’s were screened before the birth of a healthy baby boy, who was born two years before Eden. Unfortunately, they were not screened for ML4 or many of the other sixteen preventable Jewish genetic diseases identified for testing at that time. They were also unaware of the need for screening before each subsequent pregnancy for any newly identified diseases.
Media Contact: Jill Cohen — 212-721-4720 or email@example.com
SOURCE Atlanta Jewish Gene Screen