The Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) Brain Institute has become the new home of the Victor Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases, a project aimed at ensuring ongoing access to comprehensive genetic education, counseling services and screenings. Funding support is provided by the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The Victor Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases at MCH provides educational and screening opportunities related to genetic diseases that have a high carrier rate in the Ashkenazi Jewish population, those whose ancestors are from Central and Eastern Europe. It’s estimated that one in four Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier of a mutation in at least one of several disease genes
Thanks to recent advances in the field of genetics, a simple blood test that examines a person’s genes for changes or mutations is all it takes to determine whether the individual is a carrier. Individuals of every ethnic group are potential carriers for genetic diseases. Anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent should be screened. The Victor Center provides full service genetic counseling and screening to all interested individuals and couples.
Students, young adults, newlywed couples, and men and women considering becoming parents can be screened for all nineteen genetic diseases at the low cost of $99 for those who have health insurance.
MCH will be hosting screenings for at-risk individuals at its main campus as well as various locations throughout South Florida. The team will also provide individuals who are carriers with education and counseling information about how to prevent these diseases from being passed on to their children and build awareness about the diseases.
The 19 genetic diseases encompassed in the screening include: Bloom Syndrome, Canavan Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Dihydrolipoamide Dehydrogenase Deficiency (DLD), Familial Dysautonomia, Familial Hyperinsulinism, Fanconi Anemia Type C, Gaucher Disease, Glycogen Storage Disease Type 1a, Joubert Syndrome, Maple Syrup Urine Disease, Mucolipidosis IV, Nemaline Myopathy, Niemann-Pick Disease Type A, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Tay-Sachs Disease, Usher Syndrome Type 1F, Usher Syndrome Type III, and Walker-Warburg Syndrome.
For more information about the Victor Center at Miami Children’s Hospital visit www.victorcenters.org or Deborah Wasserman at 786-897-9587.Shelley Benveniste
About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.
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