Type of disease: Rare conditions
Sandhoff disease is an inherited lipid storage disorder that progressively destroys nerve cells (neurons) in the brain and spinal cord. The most common and severe form of Sandhoff disease becomes apparent in infancy. Infants with this disorder typically appear normal until the age of 3 to 6 months when their development slows and muscles used for movement weaken. Other forms of Sandhoff disease have been described where much milder signs and symptoms begin in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. These forms are very rare. Sandhoff disease is caused by mutations in the HEXB gene. These mutations cause a deficiency of the enzyme beta-hexosaminidase, which results in the accumulation of certain fats (lipids) in the brain and other organs of the body. Sandhoff disease is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.