Tay-Sachs disease (TSD) is a fatal genetic disorder. It occurs when a fatty substance builds up in the brain. This causes progressive destruction of the brain. There are three forms:
TSD is caused by the absence of an enzyme. This enzyme is needed to break down a fatty substance called GM2 (ganglioside). As a result, GM2 builds up. The build up in the brain causes damage.
TSD occurs when both parent pass on the faulty genes. A person can have just one copy of the faulty gene. In this case, there are no symptoms. The person is called a carrier.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Last reviewedNovember 2012by Kari Kassir, MD
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