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.
The GM2 gangliosidoses are autosomal recessive lysosomal storage diseases caused by a deficiency of the β-hexosaminidase A enzyme. This enzyme is composed of two polypeptide chains designated the α- and β- subunits and it interacts with the GM2 activator protein. The HEXA and HEXB genes encode the α-subunit and the β-subunit, respectively. Mutations in these genes are causative of Tay-Sachs disease (HEXA) and Sandhoff disease (HEXB).
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.