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November 16, 1990 - Image 51

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-11-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Other Killers

F

amilial dysautonomia
is one of a number of
so-called Jewish gene-
tic diseases, associated with
Jews of Ashkenazi (Eastern
European) descent.
Some other conditions
include:

TAY-SACHS

Tay-Sachs — . a fatal
metabolic disorder that
causes a build-up of fatty
"garbage" in the body.
Children afflicted with this
lipid or fat storage disease ap-
pear normal at birth, but they
degenerate. Most don't live
past the age of 5. There is a
simple blood test that can
determine if a person carries
the trait and it can also be
detected in an unborn fetus.
Because of extensive testing
within the Jewish communi-
ty, occurrences of Tay-Sachs
are more common in the non-
Jewish population, Says Dr.
Lester Weiss, director of
genetics and birth defects at
Henry Ford Hospital.

GAUCHER'S
DISEASE

Gaucher's Disease — a con-
dition related to Tay-Sachs in
that it involves the
metabolism of fatty waste.
The body lacks the enzyme to
break down and dispose of the
matter, so it builds up,
depositing in organs and
bones. While Gaucher's is not
deadly, it can be painful, caus-
ing orthopedic problems and
some bone destruction.

NEIMANN-PICK

Neimann-Pick — a very
rare disease of the nervous
system, also related to the

break-down of fatty waste,
that usually results in death
before the age of 5. There is
also an adult version of the
disease that spares the ner-
vous system.

BLOOM'S
SYNDROME

Bloom's Syndrome — a non-
lethal condition where those
affected do not grow normal-
ly. The disease is associated
with dwarfism and
characterized by sensitivity to
sunlight and skin rashes. Per-
sons with the disease have a
propensity to develop
leukemia and other cancers
as they approach adulthood.

DYSTONIA
DEFORMANS or
TORTION
DYSTONIA

Dystonia Deformans or Tor-
tion Dystonia — a neuro-
muscular disease that results
in crippling distortions of the
body. Average age of onset is
ten years. People afflicted
with this condition exhibit
bizarre involuntary move-
ments of the arms, legs and
body. Some surgical pro-
cedures have been developed
that are effective in controll-
ing the condition.
Dr. Weiss says in addition to
diagnosing Tay-Sachs, pre-
natal tests are available for
Gaucher's and Neimann-
Pick. The research team at
Harvard University headed
by Dr. James -Gusella, under-
taking the search for the
defective dysautonomia gene,
isolated the marker for Tor-
tion Dystonia last year. El

Israel Housing Crunch
Is Driving Up Prices

Tel Aviv (JTA) — Soaring
housing costs due to Soviet
immigration led the cost-of-
living index to a sharp 2.1
percent rise in September,
the Central Bureau of
Statistics reported last
week.
Just over half of the in-
crease was attributed to a
5.7 percent hike in the ren-
tal or purchase prices of
homes and the higher costs
of upkeep.
The rising prices are a

Sherwood's

reflection of a surge in de-
mand created by the
thousands of Soviet Jews
who are arriving here each
month.
The September consumer
price increase brought the
annual inflation rate to just
under 20 percent.
The Central Bureau said
an average urban family
now needs a monthly income
of $1,740 to break even. That
is three times the current
average wage.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

51

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