About Tay-Sachs Disease
What is Tay-Sachs Disease?
You may be asking yourself, what is Tay-Sachs Disease? Tay-Sachs disease is a fatal disease that occurs in infants, children, and young adults. It occurs because of a chromosomal abnormalities. This happens because of a build up of harmful fatty acids because of a genetic lipid storage disorder. It is usually fatal in infants and children, but not usually in adults. unfortunately there is no known cure.
This image shows a picture of a normal brain to a picture of a brain with Tay-Sachs
Who discovered Tay-Sachs Disease?
Tay-Sachs was first discovered around 1881 by a man named Warren Tay, he wrote about the symptoms in his notebook, but had no idea what the disease was. Several years late Bernard Sachs also described Tay-Sachs still not knowing what it was, but listing symptoms. Then even later in 1969, two scientists named Dr. Khintaro Okado and Dr. John S. O'brien, published the discovery of Tay-Sachs, or Hexosaminidase A.
Symptoms of Tay-Sachs
Tay-Sachs comes with many symptoms. Things such as having a cherry red spot on the retina of your eye, or developing a little slower, or not at all. Even though all infants develop at different paces, infants with Tay-Sachs do not develop much at all. They get bigger, but can never sit up straight, or roll over, they will never walk, or talk. Another symptom if these don't occur is the baby not being able to focus, or pay attention. It's eyes will wonder and it will be as if it can't even see you, which it most likely can't, since around the age of one it beings to lose sight. Some of these symptoms will occur and some may not.
This image shows the cherry red spot on the retina of an eye.
Can you prevent this Disease?
Unfortunately you cannot prevent this disease. It is something that happens by random chance. But you can go to a genetic counselor for more advice if it might happen to you child. Since Tay-Sachs is recessive both parents must carriers of the disease for it to occur. If only one parent is a carrier it is impossible. Even if both parents are carriers, the child still only has a 25% chance of it happening. Unfortunately there in no way to prevent Tay-Sachs disease.
How would you manage with Tay-Sachs?
Although there is no cure Tay-Sachs Disease is a very manageable thing to live with. Unless an infant is born with it, the infant will be dead in around four years. When your an adult and diagnosed with Tay-Sachs you can take medicines and other remedies to help manage with Tay-Sachs, it can't be stopped, but it is easy to manage, and less lethal than when an infant gets it. Tay-Sachs is something that is very manageable.
Are there any organizations that are about Tay-Sachs awareness?
There are many organizations that are aware of Tay-Sachs. A place called the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Disease Association is one organization that is helping to raise awareness about Tay-Sachs. The are raising not only awareness, but also money to help find a cure, or even just a treatment. Many people that don't know about Tay-Sachs are being made aware by this organization. That isn't the only one though, there are many organizations just like this trying to help do the same thing.
Now you Know
Now you know the harmful, fatal, and terrible disease that is Tay-Sachs. You may not be able to make a significant difference, but you could help someone with Tay-Sachs, by donating money, or doing charity work trying to raise money. I, myself, didn't know much about Tay-Sachs, but doing research on it, I've come to respect the parents that try to help their children to grow with Tay-Sachs. It would be easy to just give up, but they don't. Now you know about Tay-Sachs, make a difference!