Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 21:20 EDT

Atlanta Jewish Gene Screen Conducts Community Wide Screening for 19 Preventable Jewish Genetic Diseases

February 9, 2012

ATLANTA, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — On February 26 and 27, a two-day community-wide screening for potential carriers of 19 Jewish genetic diseases will be conducted at The Temple, located at 1589 Peachtree St., NE, in Atlanta. On Feb. 26, it will be held from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM; on Feb. 27, the hours are from 9:00 AM – 12 noon. The first five registrants for each day will receive a free screening.

The maximum out of pocket cost for insured individuals screened at AJGS community screenings or Emory is $25, a significant fee reduction from prior screenings. Those without insurance should contact the Atlanta Jewish Gene Screen at 404-561-7478 for further information.

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.

The AJGS screening held in November 2011 identified twelve of the sixty-two persons screened as carriers of a Jewish genetic disease.

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, the potential danger is particularly great, since one in five of these Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier for any one of 19 different genetic diseases, which strike in childhood, have no cure, and can lead to an early death.

A 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, 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.

For more information, call 404-561-7478, email: info@atljewishgenescreen.org or visit www.atlantajewishgenescreen.org.

Media Contact: Jill Cohen – 212-721-4720 or jill@callprinc.com

SOURCE Atlanta Jewish Gene Screen

Source: PR Newswire