GENETICS OF THE
ACADIAN PEOPLE

FREE PUBLIC FORUM
August 9, 1999 --- 9 am until 4:30 pm
McNeese State University, Bulber Auditorium
Lake Charles, LA
Call (318) 237-0032  info@swlahec.com

Community event organized by LSU Medical Center, 
Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center, 
and Congrès Mondial Acadien - 1999.

Click here for a PDF version of the Forum handout (without images ... and it's still BIG).
WHO ATTENDED? Anyone interested in the health of the Acadian people, including families, individuals, and health care providers. Those attending the family reunions that are part of the Congrès Mondial Acadien-1999 will be especially interested.

WHAT WAS IT? It was an all-day event organized by LSU Medical Center, Southwest Louisiana Area Health EducationCenter, and Congrès Mondial Acadien-1999. It was designed to educate the community about genetics. Doctors and researchers who work among the Acadians in Canada and Louisiana will be the speakers.  Special breakout sessions allowed smaller groups to talk to doctors about specific concerns.

WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE? (1) To increase awareness of the urique genetic history of the Acadian people resulting from their story of survival, (2) To explain increased risks among the Atadian people for some genetic diseases, (3) To foster understanding of the importance of ongoing genetic research of the Acadian people, (4) To inform about the latest discoveries in genetics and their impact on health care, and (5) To allow interaction with doctors who provide clinical genetic services to Louisianians.

WHY WAS THIS NEEDED? One in 20 American babies is born with a genetic disorder. Among the Acadian people, risks for some diseases range from 35% to 250% higher than the national average. Discoveries in genetics are redefining medicine and our understanding of the basic causes of disease. The Acadians play an important role in genetic research and need to be kept informed about how genetics can help shape their lives and the lives of their children.

WHO WERE THE SPEAKERS? There were four: (1) Dr. Bronya Keats, Director of the Genetics Center at LSU Medical Center, who has been involved in genetic research among the Acadians for 16 years talked on "Genetic Links and Cajun Connections;" (2) Dr. Charles Scriver a renowned geneticist and pediatrician from Montreal talked on "Histories of Families, Histories of Genes," (3) Dr. Michal Jazwinski talked on "All in the Family: Genetics of Aging and the Louisiana Centenarian Study", and (4) Dr. Carl Brasseaux talked on "Acadian to Cajun: History of a Society Built on the Extended Family."

There were other doctors at the small breakout sessions who talked about and answered questions on these topics:
   Genes and Cancer                       Genetic Research in Acadiana
   Genes and Psychiatric Illness       Genetic Testing and Genetic'Counseling
   Genetic Disorders in Children       Gene-Based Therapies
   Genetic Disorders in Adults          Psychological and Social Impact of Genetic Disorders

Center for Molecular & Human Genetics 
Louisiana State University Medical Center

Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History