Tay-Sachs Disease

About Tay-Sachs Disease: An End to an Incurable Genetic Disease

The availability of JScreen is a promising step in building upon the initial success of Tay-Sachs screening. Traditionally, Tay Sachs carrier screening required blood enzyme testing, but today’s sequencing method allows highly accurate testing to be performed on saliva. (In a small percentage of cases, blood enzyme testing will be needed in addition to saliva testing. A JScreen genetic counselor will notify you if that is the case, and help you arrange to have this performed.) See the chart below for a comparison of the two methods.

Comparison of Tay Sachs carrier screening methods

Saliva Sequencing

Blood Enzyme Test

How it Works

Detailed scan of the whole length of a gene. Performed on saliva.

Measure of protein (enzyme) activity in the blood.

Detection Rate

99% in everyone

98% in everyone


$149 with private insurance

$349 without insurance

Most private insurances cover the cost of this testing.


through JScreen

through your doctor or a community screening event


While Tay-Sachs may be on the decline in the Jewish community, the battle to end preventable genetic disease is far from over. The Jewish community is at risk for other preventable genetic diseases, some of which are even more frequent than Tay-Sachs.

Now it’s up to you to protect your family’s future. Learn your risk for Tay-Sachs and other genetic diseases – click here to start your testing process now.