Tay-Sachs Disease is a progressive and fatal genetic condition that involves a complete deficiency of the hexosaminidase-A (HEXA) enzyme. This enzyme is needed in healthy individuals for the process of hydrolysis of GM2 ganglioside to occur. For individuals with Tay-Sachs disease that lack this enzyme, the fatty substance of GM2 ganglioside accumulates in the brain and leads to the symptoms of the disease.
Early clinical symptoms were analyzed from all known 43 children with aspartylglucosaminuria, born during 1974-1989 in Finland. Pre- and perinatal histories appeared normal for all children, except for muscular hypotonia and weak sucking in some babies. Three infants had abduction stiffness in the hips, needing follow-up. Other abnormalities found in infancy were umbilical or inguinal hernias and unusual susceptibility to respiratory and ear infections.
There's currently no cure for Tay-Sachs disease, so the aim of treatment is to make living with the condition as comfortable as possible. Treatment usually focuses on the Preventing problems with the lungs and airways, relieving any feeding or swallowing problems (dysphagia) and using medication to help control or relieve symptoms, such as fits and muscle stiffness.