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JScreen public health initiative launches to fight Jewish genetic diseases
Date:9/16/2013

ATLANTA, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Fighting hereditary disease among Jews is the aim of a multi-state public health initiative launched today, called JScreen.  The JScreen program (www.jscreen.org), managed by Emory University School of Medicine's Department of Human Genetics, provides at-home genetic screening and private counseling for people with Jewish lineage to determine their risk for hereditary diseases that could be passed to their children.  

Today's geneticists have identified genetic markers for 19 genetic diseases that are more common in the Jewish-Ashkenazi community, including Tay-Sachs and Canavan disease. The carriers are healthy but they can pass the diseases along to their children. Couples who are both carriers can risk unknowingly having children with one of these diseases. JScreen also offers an expanded panel, useful for couples of mixed descent and interfaith couples, which screens for a total of 80 diseases.

"By leveraging advances in genetic testing and online education that allow people to be screened in the comfort of their homes, we are removing barriers to allow more people to be screened," said Patricia Zartman Page, JScreen senior director at the Emory School of Medicine's Department of Human Genetics.

JScreen makes testing for common genetic diseases simple - providing an easy-to-use at-home saliva test that gives people who are planning to have children an unprecedented understanding of their own genetic makeup and risks relating to their children's health. If a person or couple's risk is elevated, genetic counselors from Emory University School of Medicine will privately address their results, options and resources t
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