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Muscle Nerve. 2008 Aug;38(2):1012-5. doi: 10.1002/mus.21061.

Late-onset Tay-Sachs disease: the spectrum of peripheral neuropathy in 30 affected patients.

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Neuromuscular Division, Department of Neurology, Neurological Institute, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.


Late-onset Tay-Sachs (LOTS) disease is a chronic, progressive, lysosomal storage disorder caused by a partial deficiency of beta-hexosaminidase A (HEXA) activity. Deficient levels of HEXA result in the intracellular accumulation of GM2-ganglioside, resulting in toxicity to nerve cells. Clinical manifestations primarily involve the central nervous system (CNS) and lower motor neurons, and include ataxia, weakness, spasticity, dysarthria, dysphagia, dystonia, seizures, psychosis, mania, depression, and cognitive decline. The prevalence of peripheral nervous system (PNS) involvement in LOTS has not been well documented, but it has traditionally been thought to be very low. We examined a cohort of 30 patients with LOTS who underwent clinical and electrophysiologic examination, and found evidence of a predominantly axon loss polyneuropathy affecting distal nerve segments in the lower and upper extremities in eight patients (27%).

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