Tay-Sachs is an inherited disease in which the body does not break down fatty compounds, called gangliosides, as it should. As the gangliosides build up in the body, they damage brain and nerve cells to the point that these cells cannot function properly.
There are two forms of Tay-Sachs disease:
Treatment for Tay-Sachs disease focuses on controlling symptoms and preparing for the course of the disease. There is no cure. Additional personal and family support measures (such as home care or respite care) may be needed as the disease progresses.
Last Revised: September 6, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan, MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics
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