Symptoms of Tay-Sachs
Loss of muscle coordination, speech problems, and mental illness are some of the common symptoms of Tay-Sachs disease in adults. However, a person's symptoms will vary, depending on the type of disease he or she is experiencing. The most common type begins in infancy, and symptoms may include slowing down of development, muscle weakening, and loss of motor skills.
Types of Tay-Sachs disease vary, based on when the disease develops and the symptoms that are present. The most common form of Tay-Sachs begins in infancy. A much more rare form of Tay-Sachs, late-onset Tay-Sachs disease, affects adults. The symptoms will also vary for each type.
Infants with Tay-Sachs disease typically appear normal for the first three to six months. Then symptoms of Tay-Sachs begin to occur. Common symptoms in infants include:
- Slowing down of development
- Weakening of muscles
- Loss of motor skills such as turning over, sitting, and crawling.
As the disease progresses, other symptoms may also occur, including:
- Increased startle reflex to noise
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Inability to swallow
- Mental retardation
An eye abnormality called a cherry-red spot, which can be identified with an eye examination, is one of the characteristic symptoms of Tay-Sachs disease. Children with this severe form of the condition usually only live into early childhood.