Forms of Sandhoff disease where the symptoms develop after infancy are very rare. Signs and symptoms can begin in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood and are usually milder than those seen with the infantile form. Characteristic features include muscle weakness, loss of muscle coordination (ataxia) and other problems with movement, speech problems, and mental illness. These signs and symptoms vary widely among people with late-onset forms of Sandhoff disease.
The Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) provides the following list of features that have been reported in people with this condition. Much of the information in the HPO comes from Orphanet, a European rare disease database. If available, the list includes a rough estimate of how common a feature is (its frequency). Frequencies are based on a specific study and may not be representative of all studies. You can use the MedlinePlus Medical Dictionary for definitions of the terms below.
|Signs and Symptoms||Approximate number of patients (when available)|
|Abnormality of metabolism/homeostasis||90%|
|Abnormality of movement||90%|
|Abnormality of the macula||90%|
|Recurrent respiratory infections||50%|
|Congestive heart failure||7.5%|
|Abnormality of glycosphingolipid metabolism||-|
|Cherry red spot of the macula||-|
|Coarse facial features||-|
|Episodic abdominal pain||-|
|Impaired thermal sensitivity||-|
|Progressive psychomotor deterioration||-|
|Skeletal muscle atrophy||-|
Mutations in the HEXB gene disrupt the activity of beta-hexosaminidase A and beta-hexosaminidase B, which prevents these enzymes from breaking down GM2 ganglioside and other molecules. As a result, these compounds can accumulate to toxic levels, particularly in neurons of the brain and spinal cord. A buildup of GM2 ganglioside leads to the progressive destruction of these neurons, which causes many of the signs and symptoms of Sandhoff disease.
Research helps us better understand diseases and can lead to advances in diagnosis and treatment. This section provides resources to help you learn about medical research and ways to get involved.
Nonprofit support and advocacy groups bring together patients, families, medical professionals, and researchers. These groups often raise awareness, provide support, and develop patient-centered information. Many are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct people to research, resources, and services. Many groups also have experts who serve as medical advisors. Visit their website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.
Living with a genetic or rare disease can impact the daily lives of patients and families. These resources can help families navigate various aspects of living with a rare disease.
These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.
Gordon Research Conference and Gordon Research Seminar on Lysosomes and Endocytosis
Sunday, June 15, 2014 -
Friday, June 20, 2014
Location: Proctor Academy, Andover, NH
Description: The main goal of the Lysosomes and Endocytosis GRC is to foster the dissemination of current research results and the establishment of new research areas and new collaborations in the area of the cell biology of endocytosis, lysosomes, endosomes and related organelles. We hope that many of these new directions and collaborations will be directed toward the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of rare genetic diseases such as lysosomal storage disorders, Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome, Chediak-Higashi syndrome, Niemann Pick disease and tuberous sclerosis, among others.
Contact: Alexandra Ainsztein, Ph.D.(301) 594-0828, Alexandra.Ainsztein@nih.gov
Co-funding Institute(s): National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Office of Rare Diseases Research
Questions sent to GARD may be posted here if the information could be helpful to others. We remove all identifying information when posting a question to protect your privacy. If you do not want your question posted, please let us know. Submit a new question
I may be a carrier for Sandhoff disease. I am pregnant, non-Jewish and my hexosaminidase A is slightly elevated. The test was not definitive. I am negative for Tay Sachs. My husband is NOT a carrier for Sandhoff and due to this I have been discouraged from getting further testing. Both of my parents asked for Sandhoff testing but were given Tay Sachs tests and both were negative. I am concerned for my extended family. They should know if we have a genetic disorder but I do not want to alarm anyone needlessly. Is there any advice that can be given? All of your help is greatly appreciated. See answer
Is there a cure for Sandhoff disease? Are there effective treatments for this condition? What is the prognosis for an affected individual? See answer