Genetic Diseases Affecting Jews

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In Leviticus, a section of the Torah, it says that ailments like skin diseases mean that there is something wrong with that person. The disease was a punishment for a sin that the afflicted person committed. Now this is quite ironic because there are many diseases that affect mainly Jews. These include diseases such as Tay-Sachs disease, Bloom Syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis, Polyglandular Syndrome, and much more. These genetic studies of Jewish genetic diseases would be nowhere without a person that some consider the father of genetics, Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk. His studies of genetics helped the world look into Mendel’s life, why these genetic diseases affect Jews, the similarities and symptoms in these diseases, and why some only affect…show more content…
These diseases are all genetic, making Jews’ genetic make-up very similar. The genes are so similar that people could argue that Judaism is a race. These genetic diseases are in certain groups. There are lysosomal storage diseases, glycogen storage diseases, clotting factor deficiencies, steroid hormone biosynthetic defects, and DNA mutations causing cancers. The lysosomal storage diseases are Tay-Sachs disease, Niemann-Pick disease, Gaucher disease and Mucolipidosis IV. One would test for these in the parents’ tears. If both parents have it, it is unlikely that couple will have a baby. The similarities in these diseases are that most contain a neurodegeneration in cells. This causes accumulated lipids to be caught in the endosomes. While some of these genetic diseases like Tay-Sachs only result in death, there are new theories that cell therapy could help in some like Gaucher disease. The glycogen storage diseases are Glycogen Storage disease, types I and II. Glycogen Storage Diseases can be found by taking a blood test. These involve enzymatic deficiencies. The symptoms can be seen by muscle atrophies and abnormal liver function. Another symptom seen is low-blood sugar. There is, unfortunately, no cure and these diseases will end in fatality. The Clotting Factor Deficiencies are Factor XI Deficiency, Factor VII Deficiency, and Combined Factors V and VIII deficiency. Clotting Factor Deficiencies are a rare form of blood clotting. There are 18 types of factors. Of the ones that affect Jews, all have the symptom of nosebleeds and almost all have the symptom of easy bruising. They all have some form of bleeding too, but the more rare ones are bleeding while pregnant, blood in urine, and joint bleeding. A full chart is pictured at the end of the essay to show which are the specific types of each factor. For factor XI, the treatments are factor XI concentrate, antifibrinolytic
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