The month of May is designated as Tay-Sachs and Canavan Diseases Awareness Month. Newborns with Tay-Sachs disease appear healthy at birth, but then symptoms start to occur at 6 months. The infant will start to lose motor skills and mental functions. Soon after, they become blind, deaf, mentally retarded, paralyzed, non-responsive to their environment and will eventually die by the age of 5. Tay-Sachs disease is caused by a lack of an enzyme called Hexosaminidase A (Hex A), which is needed for the body to break down the fatty waste substances that are found in the brain cells. Without Hex A, this substance accumulates abnormally and causes gradual damage until the nervous system shuts down completely and can no longer sustain life.
Newborns with Canavan disease also appear healthy at birth. However, at the ages of 3 and 9 months, subtle changes will start to occur. These changes include visual inattentiveness, inability to grasp objects, roll over, or like Tay-Sachs disease, perform motor tasks. The infant eventually becomes blind, but unlike Tay-Sachs, their hearing remains sharp. Their weak muscles prevents them from sitting, crawling, and eating properly. Infants with Canavan disease will either die in infancy or early childhood. Some survive into their adolescence, but eventually die as well. Canavan disease occurs when there are defects in myelin, known as “white matter,” in the brain. Myelin protects nerves and allows messages to be sent to and from the brain. Tay-Sachs and Canavan disease are both caused by an enzyme deficiency.
Help raise awareness of these diseases to your clients and employees by giving out promotional bar gift sets, promotional coffee mug gifts, logo coaster gifts, and custom travel coffee mug gifts imprinted with your company name and corporate logo. Spread the word of the whereabouts of Tay-Sachs and Canavan diseases screening sites with ePromos’s promotional products.
For some other great promotional opportunities, check out our promotional calendar.