Tay-Sachs disease

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Tay-Sachs disease (also called Tray-Sachs syndrome) is a genetically heritable disease which causes problems with the metabolism of fat. Infants usually die of pneumonia or other infections before reaching four years of age. The disease is very rare in the common population, but common in Jewish families. There is no known treatment for this disease, however there is a cheap blood test that helps prevent this disease.

The disease is named after Warren Tay and Bernard Sachs who first described the disease in the late 19th century.


Tay–Sachs disease is typically first noticed in infants around 6 months old displaying an abnormally strong response to sudden noises or other stimulus, known as the "startle response". There may also be listlessness or muscle stiffness (hypertonia). The disease is classified into several forms, which are differentiated based on the onset age of neurological symptoms.