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.
From data collected in a North American Tay-Sachs disease (TSD) heterozygote screening program, the TSD carrier frequency among 46,304 Jewish individuals was found to be .0324 (1 in 31 individuals). This frequency is consistent with earlier estimates based on TSD incidence data. TSD carrier frequencies were then examined by single country and single region of origin in 28,029 Jews within this sample for whom such data were available for analysis.
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.