What is it?
Cree Leucoencephalopathy (CLE) and Cree Encephalitis (CE) are lethal hereditary diseases that can be transmitted by healthy parents (carriers) to their offspring. The CLE-CE program provides educational, screening, and counselling services on a voluntary basis, and offers parents and prospective parents a chance to be screened to see if they carry the genes for these diseases. If a couple is at risk because both partners are carriers, options can be offered to them through counselling.
Who is it for?
The program is for couples planning to have a child, women of childbearing age, men considering parenthood, and people with a family history of CLE or CE.
Where is it offered?
This program is offered through local CMCs and local high schools.
In collaboration with the Cree School Board, the school-based educational sessions are offered to students aged 14 and over in Secondary 3-4-5, providing information to large numbers of young people before they start families. The classroom sessions are followed by counselling and screening for students who are interested. Education is also offered in other settings, such as Continuing Education classes and workplaces.
How does screening work?
The screening process is very simple. Blood samples for screening are taken at the local CMC, at the school or where the counseling is done. There is a pinprick when the sample is taken, but it is not very painful.
Once a small blood sample is taken, it is sent to Ste-Justine hospital for analysis. It usually takes up to two months to receive the results. The result is good for your lifetime and will be kept in your medical file.
If you do carry the gene, further counselling sessions are offered so that you can learn more about what this means to you and to your potential offspring. These sessions will explain what options are available to you and will help you to decide what choices to make, taking into consideration your beliefs, values and goals.
How can I get this service?
You can get this service by contacting your local CMC or the School Nurse in your community.