Tay Sachs Disease Among Jewish Children.

Tay Sachs Among Ashkenazi Jews vs other Jews, US citizens and Canadians.

This week I learned a great deal about race, health, and genetics. When looking through this weeks material it was very interesting learning how these elements interact and how they do not interact. For instance, being in a certain race makes you more susceptible to some diseases concerning health and can even relate to genetics. For instance, different races come from different parts of the world, these people have different climates, foods, and adaptations and also different risks  of diseases. Like the boys who begin to pee out blood because of the infected waters that they swim in. This is mostly prevalent where this certain population exists making their race more prone to catching this illness. This goes for other parts of the world also and like how radiation poisoning affected certain children who lived in areas exposed to certain chemicals. Although environment has a lot to do with illnesses in races, genetics also takes part in the health of certain populations of people.  Tay Sachs disease is most prevalent in Ashkenazi Jews. As we can see from the graph above Canadians also seem to have a high rate of illness in Tay Sachs. Although anyone can be a carrier for this genetic disorder I think it is more probably for Jews to get the illness because they tend to marry and procreate with people in their own village and sometimes in their own family. This makes them have a much higher risk if they are in the same family and the parents are both carriers of Tay Sachs. This increases a child’s chance of having this disease. I am unsure why Jews are more likely to be Tay Sachs carriers, however it does make sense that there children become ill with Tay Sachs because Jews like to marry other Jews who are similar to them.

Jorde, LB. 2007, Human Genetic Variation and Disease, In Meyers RA (ed.), Genomics and Genetics: From Molecular Details to Analysis and Techniques, pp. 939-953, Weinheim: Wiley-VCH Publishers, pp. 939-953. Visited July 10,2014.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Krystn Hartner says:

    Your explanation of race, genetics and health was informative. I liked how you discussed the race coming from different parts of the world. I didn’t include that in my reflection and I wish I would have because it helps explain better how environment and health are related. Learning about these 3 factors connecting is interesting and it’s still kind of hard to fully understand.

    Personally, I think that racial categories are very useful in clinical studies. Seeing how different races are affected helps anthropologists and health professions see how much origin and social factors affect health. However, I do think that when you categorize which races have specific health problems it leads to troubles with different cultures. I feel a better way to categorize people is through the actual locations that they live in (environmental). This way all of the races involved in that geographic location will get accounted for.

    Learning about Tay Sachs in Jewish Children was surprising for me. I did not know that Jewish people usually procreated with people in their own villages which cause them to have a more likely chance of giving this illness to their kids.

    It is amazing how race, genetics and health all play a role in health disparities.

  2. Ben Caldwell says:

    I like this post because of the general structure it gives of the relationship between race, genetics, and health. My evaluation was much more case specific so I wish I had done something more along these lines as an introduction. I think the author of this post does an excellent job in illustrating the fact that environment is an important factor to consider when looking at the disease rate in a population. While it may seem as if the disease is simply innate in the people, it may actually arise from some aspect of the area they live or work in.
    I’m not familiar with the Ashkenazi sect of Judaism, but I would be interested to know if the rates of Tay Sachs are as high in Ashkenazi Jews when they live in a more diverse area. I would suspect that in this scenario the rate would drop as there wouldn’t be as much reproduction among only people who are also Ashkenazi (again I’m not familiar). It would also be interesting to see if the Tay Sachs genes are sex linked, reproduction outside of the Ashkenazi community would also provide opportunity to study this aspect. Finally, are there any similarities between Ashkenazi Jews and French Canadians that may be observed to explain a potential cause?

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