By Keith S. Wexler, MBA, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Prenatal Diagnosis and Biotech/Life Sciences Consultant, GENASSIST, Inc.
Paul Wexler, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., Medical Director, GENASSIST, Inc.
Clinical Professor, Department of OB/GYN, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Clinical Professor, Division of Genetics/Dept. of Pediatrics, Univ. of Colorado/The Children’s Hospital
Familial Dysautonomia is a rare Ashkenazi Jewish inherited disease with a carrier frequency of (1 in 30) and affects (1 in 3600) pregnancies.
Familial Dysautonomia: Autosomal recessive inheritance (25% if both parents are gene carriers) has been described.
Familial Dysautonomia is characterized by insensitivity to pain, unstable temperature, blood pressure and/or heart rate and reduced ability to produce tears. Life expectancy has improved from early childhood to age 30’s or 40’s.
*The Ashkenazi Jewish Screen is available in a variety of Panels:
- Basic Panel – 3 Diseases
- Expanded Panel – 8 Diseases
- *Full Panel – 18 Diseases – (One company is running a 3 part Ashkenazi panel that has up to 39 diseases)
*The Full Panel is now also part of many Microarray Panels that can test for over 100 diseases.
The Jewish population is the United States as of 2012 was 6,543,820 making up 2.1% of the entire U.S. population (1).
The Ashkenazi Jewish Inherited Disease Panel was created to help screen for specific ethnic inherited diseases. Preconceptional testing is suggested to help identify or rule-out the parents as being carriers.
(1) US Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2012