Tay-Sachs disease is a metabolic storage disorder of the nervous system. It occurs when lysosomes in cells lack a particular enzyme that destroys waste in the cell. This waste builds up and leads to an increase in size eventually leading to brain swelling and damage.
Symptoms include an exaggerated startle response, irritable behavior, seizures, and dementia. Tay-Sachs is a genetic disorder that is passed down in families and is most common in Eastern European Jewish populations. The disease typically becomes noticeable in infants 3-6 months of age and leads to death at an early age.