Early diagnosis of phenylketonuria. Physiopathology of the neuronal damage and therapeutic options.

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Summary of "Early diagnosis of phenylketonuria. Physiopathology of the neuronal damage and therapeutic options."

Phenylketonuria, also known as PKU, is the most frequent congenital inborn error of metabolism. The severe form or classic PKU untreated causes intellectual disability, although with the early detection programs in the neonatal period, diagnosis and treatment prevent the appearance of the symptoms. Despite early diagnosis and treatment we have observed some neurotoxicity in treated PKU patients. We analyzed the factors involved apart from the toxicity due to the high cerebral concentrations of phenylalanine (Phe), the defects of synthesis of neurotransmitters, the alteration of cerebral myelination, the effect of the elevation of Phe in the processes of transport and distribution of neutral amino acids with an abnormal synthesis of brain proteins, plasma and cerebral tyrosine deficiency, the neurotoxicity of Phe metabolites, the defect of cholesterol biosynthesis or the increase of oxidative stress. White matter alterations in early treated PKU patients have an important role in neurological manifestations. The treatment of PKU is for life and is based on the reduction of foods containing Phe combined with the administration of a special formula or tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) treatment. New therapeutic options will be analyzed.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Medicina
ISSN: 1669-9106
Pages: 2-5


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