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Treatment for Tay-Sachs

Methods for controlling symptoms, as well as a focus on lifestyle and care issues, are the usual Tay-Sachs treatments. Since there is no cure or a way of slowing down the progression of the disease, the goals of treatment are to provide proper medications, nutrition, and care. Even with treatment, however, most people with Tay-Sachs don't live past the age of four.

Treatment for Tay-Sachs: An Overview

There is no Tay-Sachs cure or way of slowing down the progression of Tay-Sachs disease. Therefore, treatment for Tay-Sachs is focused on controlling the symptoms of Tay Sachs disease. Treatments for Tay-Sachs may include:
  • Medications
  • Techniques to keep the airway open.
Treatment for Tay-Sachs also focuses on lifestyle and care issues, including:
  • Feeding
  • Proper nutrition and hydration.

Medications Used in Tay-Sachs Treatment

Several different medications are available to treat symptoms of Tay-Sachs. For example, anticonvulsant medicine can be used to control seizures.

The Role of Feeding and Nutrition in Treatment for Tay-Sachs

People with Tay-Sachs can have difficulty swallowing. In helping individuals to eat, caregivers should allow plenty of time for meals. Food can be cut into small pieces, softened, or pureed to ease swallowing and prevent choking. While some foods may require the addition of thickeners, other foods may need to be thinned. Dairy products, in particular, tend to increase the secretion of mucus, which, in turn, increases the risk of choking.
As Tay-Sachs progresses, a feeding tube may be necessary in order to provide enough calories and proper nutrition.
A physician can offer additional advice about diet and information on how to handle swallowing difficulties.
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