Other Names for this Disease
- GM2 gangliosidosis, type 1
- HexA deficiency
- B variant GM2 gangliosidosis
- Hexosaminidase A deficiency
- Hexosaminidase alpha-subunit deficiency (variant B)
Tay-Sachs disease is a rare inherited disorder that causes progressive destruction of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Tay-Sachs is caused by the absence of a vital enzyme called hexosaminidase-A (Hex-A). Without Hex-A, a fatty substance, or lipid, called GM2 ganglioside accumulates abnormally in cells, especially in the nerve cells of the brain. This ongoing accumulation causes progressive damage to the cells. Tay-Sachs disease is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern.
Last updated: 1/14/2016
- Learning about Tay-Sachs Disease. National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). 2011; http://www.genome.gov/10001220.
- Tay-Sachs disease. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). October 2012; http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/tay-sachs-disease.
- The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy provides information on the treatment of lysosomal storage diseases.
- Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Tay-Sachs disease. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
- MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
- The National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) website has an information page on this topic. NHGRI is part of the National Institutes of Health and supports research on the structure and function of the human genome and its role in health and disease.
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
- The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
- Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
- Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Tay-Sachs disease. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.