Enzyme replacement in Tay-Sachs disease

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Article abstract

Enzyme replacement therapy was attempted with two Tay-Sachs-diseased individuals—a 14- month-old child and a 7-week-old infant. Treatment consisted of repeated weekly intrathecal injections of pure hexosaminidase A. Injection of this enzyme resulted in almost complete disappearance of GM2 from the serum, but did not bring about dissolution of the GM2 membranous cytoplasmic bodies in the brain, as detected by electronmicroscopy. Both patients tolerated the treatment without apparent clinical complications, but no clear-cut improvement was noted as a result of prolonged injections of hexosaminidase A. Since this treatment was initiated in both an advanced stage and a very early stage of the disease, we conclude that enzyme replacement treatment by this route is not beneficial for patients with Tay-Sachs disease.

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