Tay-Sachs diseasemedical dictionary

<disease>

A genetic disorder found in east European Jewish families which can result in early death bu affecting the brain and nerves by causing abnormal lipid metabolism. It is a lysosomal disease in which there is a deficiency of hexosaminidase A, an enzyme that degrades ganglioside GM2.

Symptoms appear at age 3-6 months and include blindness, deafness, seizures, paralysis, dementia, decreased muscle tone and growth retardation. There is no known treatment and most children usually die between 2 and 5 years of age.

Inheritance: autosomal recessive.

(06 Oct 1997)