What are Jewish Diseases?
Jewish diseases are a group of rare genetic disorders that are more prevalent in people of Jewish descent, particularly Ashkenazi Jews of Central and Eastern European origin. Although they are referred as Jewish genetic diseases, people of all ethnic background can also be affected, but with much lower incidence rates. The Jewish genetic diseases commonly include Bloom Syndrome, Canavan Disease, Familial Dysautonomia, Fanconi Anemia Group C, Gaucher Disease, Glycogen Storage Disease Type 1A, Maple Syrup Disease Type 1A and 1B, Mucolipidosis Type IV, Niemann-Pick Disease Type A and B and Tay-Sachs Disease. These Jewish diseases are inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, in which two defective genes are required to develop the disease. It is estimated that 1 in 4 Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier for the defective gene causing one of the Jewish diseases. With a high carrier frequency among parents of Ashkenazi Jewish background, there is a greater than normal chance of having children affected with Jewish genetic diseases. Genetic counseling and genetic carrier screening is recommended for people of Jewish descent. References: Jose CP, Ferreira MD, Schreiber-Agus N, Carter SM, Klugman S, MDa, Gregg AR, Gross SJ (2014). Carrier testing for Ashkenazi Jewish disorders in the prenatal setting: navigating the genetic maze. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 211(3): 197-204.DNA In the News2017-04-06T21:06:11+00:00