Genetics


Annual Guide to Jewish Genetic Diseases

The Forward presents this section to provide information on some of the more serious Jewish genetic diseases. There are about 20 “Ashkenazic diseases,” not counting the higher rates of at least four cancer-related genes. The diseases are more prevalent in the Eastern European Jewish population because of centuries of endogamy — literally, “marrying within.”Read More


Where To Go for Support and Help

A list of places to go for Support and HelpRead More


Fighting Pain — With a Paintbrush

By Olivia Wiznitzer

Beautiful paintings and other works of art line the room. A rapt and attentive audience looks upward at the sea of color, expressing the personalities and feelings of those struggling with what it means to have a genetic disease.Read More


Doctors: Diet Can Help With FD

By Jasmine Marcus

Researchers have discovered that they can help alleviate some of the symptoms of familial dysautonomia through diet.Read More


NYU Treatment Center Gets Face Lift

By Jasmine Marcus

The 38-year-old Dysautonomia Treatment and Evaluation Center at the New York University Medical Center has, in a few months’ time, undergone a vast expansion.Read More


For Dystonia Sufferers, New Film Hits a Nerve

By Claire Levenson

When she was 10, Miriam Kimmelman began to lose control of her body; it would twist into a variety of abnormal postures. The symptoms progressed fast. Before long, she could walk only backward. After seeing about 100 doctors in two years, she was diagnosed with dystonia, a neurological disorder that affects more than 300,000 Americans. Thanks to surgery, Kimmelman, now 58, is much improved. She was married (now widowed) and works as a rehabilitation counselor, but her whole body, including her breathing and facial muscles, can still behave irregularly.Read More


One Big, Happy Family

By Talia Bloch

Historically speaking, Jews have hardly been strangers to the art of drawing sharp distinctions among themselves. But according to a mounting body of scientific evidence, Jews — genetically speaking, at least — may have more in common than anyone previously suspected.Read More


Philanthropist Puts Genetic Diseases to The Test

By Erin McKigney

As someone who has lost two daughters to familial dysautonomia, Lois Victor knows all too well the pain that can be wrought by genetic disease.Read More


Ashkenazim Prove Central in Pancreatic Cancer Study

By Jacob Victor

Pancreatic cancer, an often fatal disorder affecting about 1% of the American population, is not usually considered a “Jewish” genetic disease, but researchers at the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry at Johns Hopkins University would beg to differ. The NFPTR operates a special sub-registry to specifically track pancreatic cancer patients and their relatives among the Ashkenazic Jewish community, and researchers at the registry are gradually making inroads in deciphering the disease’s genetic roots.Read More


Experts: Testing for Breast and Ovarian Cancers Still Lags

By Karen Iris Tucker

When Wendy Mailman’s mother, Eloyce, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last February, her concerned daughter immediately began scouring the Internet for information.Read More





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