If you have Jewish ancestry, or anyone in your family had a child with Canavan disease, you may be at risk for Canavan and other genetic diseases.
It is estimated that 1 in 40 persons of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage is a carrier of Canavan disease. A carrier will show no symptoms of the disease and may have no known family history of the disease, but can pass it along to his or her children. Two carrier parents have a 1 in 4 chance--with each pregnancy--of having a child affected with Canavan disease.
Find out your carrier status by getting screened before you become pregnant, and use that information to have health children. There are options for carrier couples to build healthy families, which can be explained in detail by a genetic counselor. We encourage you to watch the videos on the site to learn more about the screening process, the options available for carrier couples, and the impact Canavan disease can have on an affected family.
Educate yourself about Canavan disease and about screening, spread the word to others, and support the work of the Canavan Foundation. Anyone of Jewish heritage is also at risk for other genetic diseases and should speak to a doctor or genetic counselor to sort through the screening options available.