How to Prevent Telangiectasia Ataxia
- 1). Get screened for the gene that can cause A-T (the ATM gene) before conceiving a child. Make sure your partner is screened as well. If you both come up positive for the ATM gene, you should consider other means of having children. With two sets of this gene, any child you create together will be at risk for developing A-T.
- 2). Even if you and your partner are not both carriers of the ATM gene, still consider other means of having children. The gene is recessive and usually requires both parents to carry it in order to affect the offspring. Because it is basically a genetic mutation, however, it could still occur even if only one of you are passing it along.
- 3). If you already have a child with A-T, consider not having any more children until you and your partner are screened for the ATM gene. If both of you are carriers, the only way to be sure you won’t have any more A-T affected children is to not conceive anymore together. If only one of you is a carrier, consider other means of conception, such as using genetic material from a non-carrier.
- 4). Once you become pregnant, have prenatal genetic testing done to see if the fetus is at risk of A-T. These tests are not always able to give a 100 percent definite answer about whether or not your child will have A-T, but if they come back positive you should consider your options in regards to whether or not you wish to have an affected baby.
- 5). Donate to A-T organizations that are trying to work on preventive measures as well as treatments and cures for the disease. Help them lobby for more government funding for health programs that create advanced screening tests, antibiotics and medications that can alleviate symptoms, and one day an actual treatment that can cure A-T even after it has developed.