Non-Jews hit by ‘Jewish’ diseases fall through the cracks of genetic screening

Autorecessive tay sachs

For three days in April, about 70 families whose lives have been upended by Tay-Sachs disease gathered in San Diego for the annual National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases conference, including support group sessions and a candle-lighting ceremony honoring those who had died.

Tay-Sachs is probably the best known “Jewish” disease. As many as one in 25 Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier of the defective recessive gene. Yet, among the conference attendees, who came from as far away as Poland and Guatemala, only a handful were Jewish.

Today, the vast majority of babies born with the disease are not Jewish. But unlike Jewish parents-to-be, non-jews are rarely advised to get prenatal screening for Tay-Sachs.

Read the full, original story here: Non-Jews hit by ‘Jewish’ diseases fall through the cracks of genetic screening

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