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Would You Test Your Unborn Child for Tay-Sach's Disease In This Scenario?

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posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 11:11 PM

Tay-Sachs disease is a deadly disease of the nervous system passed down through families. It occurs when the body lacks hexosaminidase A, a protein that helps break down a chemical found in nerve tissue called gangliosides. Without this protein, gangliosides, particularly ganglioside GM2, build up in cells, especially nerve cells in the brain.

Tay-Sachs disease is caused by a defective gene on chromosome 15. When both parents carry the defective Tay-Sachs gene, a child has a 25% chance of developing the disease. The child must receive two copies of the defective gene -- one from each parent -- in order to become sick. If only one parent passes the defective gene to the child, the child is called a carrier. He or she won't be sick, but will have the potential to pass the disease to his or her own children.

Tay-Sachs has been classified into infantile, juvenile, and adult forms, depending on the symptoms and when they first appear. Most people with Tay-Sachs have the infantile form. In this form, the nerve damage usually begins while the baby is still in the womb. Symptoms usually appear when the child is 3 to 6 months old. The disease tends to get worse very quickly, and the child usually dies by age 4 or 5. (Source: PubMed Health)

Imagine that you're going to have your first child. The mother - perhaps yourself, perhaps your wife (whichever is appropriate) - is in the beginning of her second trimester. Coincidentally, you and your spouse recently had routine exams when the doctor says he tested you both and found that you are both carriers of the Tay-Sachs gene.

There is a one in four chance that you may pass Tay-Sachs disease to your child. Do you opt to test the fetus for Tay-Sachs disease?

posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 11:38 PM
I would..there was a little girl in our town that had it...she died last year at four. It's a horrible..horrible disease. What is shocking is that both parents are wanting more children. They had this big interview on our local news and the reporter asked if they were going to become pregnant again..they both said yes..I would NEVER risk that again especially after losing a child from it..and watching the little girl suffer the whole time. IMO...they are very selfish people.
I would not have any other children and would probably be sterilized so I would never be able to pass on the gene.

Good luck.

posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 11:51 PM

Children born with Tay-Sachs Disease (TSD), a fatal genetic disorder, do not show symptoms until they are six months old, but almost never survive past the age of five.

I think it's better to be "armed " and somewhat prepared for what lays ahead , than to simply out of the blue , have to run around scared and deal with the plethora of horrible physicians out there , just to get some answers and the proper help !

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 12:28 AM
reply to post by Neopan100

I've seen it hit a couple families pretty hard too. I agree with you about not repeating conception after an event like that. To put a child through such suffering just isn't right.

Thanks for responding.

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 12:31 AM
reply to post by paleorchid13

I thought the exact same thing. Personally, I'd opt to do the test because the more information I have, the better I'll be able to handle the situation.

Thanks for the comment.

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 12:43 AM
I think what people are scared of are the implications of "Darwinism " or selective breeding ...but in cases of rare and horrible diseases where as a parent you have a choice between hospice care and guinea pig medical treatments that offer a few months but lower the standards of living ...
I can't judge a couple on what their choices are if they are prepared to have that child and mentally , physically and financially ..but for those that are not I pity the child twice over .

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 01:04 AM
reply to post by paleorchid13

I share that sense of pity. In this case a child has no choice in the matter, and if one is determined to expose a child to a short and suffering life, one had better be ready to offer full attention to alleviating and loving that child. Anything less is unconscionably reckless.

Thanks for saying your piece.

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