Tay-Sachs disease is a rare hereditary disease that affects young children, primarily Ashkenazi Jews, French Canadians, and other isolated or self-selecting populations. Caused by the lack of an enzyme that leads to a buildup of fats in nerve and brain cells, it gradually destroys the affected cells, leading to a loss of mental and physical abilities, and, eventually, death. In this fascinating offering, Tay-Sachs Disease discusses the nature of the disease, why it affects certain groups of people more often than others, how genetic screening can help detect carriers of the Tay-Sachs gene, and what options genetic testing and counseling provide for having children. Student researchers will discover the new medical treatments being used experimentally to treat Tay-Sachs disease, as well as the new genetic treatments that may someday provide a means of curing this degenerative condition.
Full-color photographs and illustrations. Sidebars. References. Further reading. Web sites. Glossary. Index.
About the Author(s)
Jeri Freedman has a B.A. from Harvard University and spent 15 years working at companies in the biomedical and high technology fields. She is the author of more than a dozen other nonfiction young adult books.