ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an autosomal recessive inborn error of phenylalanine metabolism caused by deficiency in the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase that converts phenylalanine into tyrosine. MAIN BODY:In 2017 the first European PKU Guidelines were published. These guidelines contained evidence based and/or expert opinion recommendations regarding diagnosis, treatment and care for patients with PKU of all ages. This manuscript is a supplement containing the practical application of the dietary treatment. CONCLUSION:This handbook can support dietitians, nutritionists and physicians in starting, adjusting and maintaining dietary treatment.
Project description:Notwithstanding the success of the traditional dietary phenylalanine restriction treatment in phenylketonuria (PKU), the use of large neutral amino acid (LNAA) supplementation rather than phenylalanine restriction has been suggested. This treatment modality deserves attention as it might improve cognitive outcome and quality of life in patients with PKU. Following various theories about the pathogenesis of cognitive dysfunction in PKU, LNAA supplementation may have multiple treatment targets: a specific reduction in brain phenylalanine concentrations, a reduction in blood (and consequently brain) phenylalanine concentrations, an increase in brain neurotransmitter concentrations, and an increase in brain essential amino acid concentrations. These treatment targets imply different treatment regimes. This review summarizes the treatment targets and the treatment regimens of LNAA supplementation and discusses the differences in LNAA intake between the classical dietary phenylalanine-restricted diet and several LNAA treatment forms.
Project description:Phenylketonuria (PKU) was the first inherited metabolic disease in which dietary treatment was found to prevent the disease's clinical features. Treatment of phenylketonuria remains difficult due to progressive decrease in adherence to diet and the presence of neurocognitive defects despite therapy. This review aims to summarize the current literature on new treatment strategies. Additions to treatment include new, more palatable foods based on glycomacropeptide that contains very limited amount of aromatic amino acids, the administration of large neutral amino acids to prevent phenylalanine entry into the brain or tetrahydropterina cofactor capable of increasing residual activity of phenylalanine hydroxylase. Moreover, human trials have recently been performed with subcutaneous administration of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, and further efforts are underway to develop an oral therapy containing phenylanine ammonia-lyase. Gene therapy also seems to be a promising approach in the near future.
Project description:Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a genetic disease characterized by the inability to convert dietary phenylalanine to tyrosine by phenylalanine hydroxylase. Given the importance of gut microbes in digestion, a genetically engineered microbe could potentially degrade some ingested phenylalanine from the diet prior to absorption. To test this, a phenylalanine lyase gene from Anabaena variabilis (AvPAL) was codon-optimized and cloned into a shuttle vector for expression in Lactobacillus reuteri 100-23C (pHENOMMenal). Functional expression of AvPAL was determined in vitro, and subsequently tested in vivo in homozygous PAHenu2 (PKU model) mice. Initial trials of two PAHenu2 homozygous (PKU) mice defined conditions for freeze-drying and delivery of bacteria. Animals showed reduced blood phe within three to four days of treatment with pHENOMMenal probiotic, and blood phe concentrations remained significantly reduced (P < 0.0005) compared to untreated controls during the course of experiments. Although pHENOMMenal probiotic could be cultured from fecal samples at four months post treatment, it could no longer be cultivated from feces at eight months post treatment, indicating eventual loss of the microbe from the gut. Preliminary screens during experimentation found no immune response to AvPAL. Collectively these studies provide data for the use of a genetically engineered probiotic as a potential treatment for PKU.
Project description:Phenylketonuria (or PKU) is a well-known and widespread genetic disease for which many countries perform newborn screening, and life-long dietary restriction is still the ultimate and effective therapy. However, the diet is complicated, unpalatable, and expensive. The long-term effects of diet discontinuation in adults, except for the serious adverse effects of maternal hyperphenylalaninemia upon the developing fetus, have not been systematically studied, but cognitive decline and neurologic abnormalities have been anecdotally reported. Thus, alternative approaches for PKU therapy, including gene therapy, must be further explored. Here we summarize past present nonviral and viral gene transfer approaches, both in vitro studies and preclinical animal trials, to delivering the PAH gene into liver or other organs as potential alternatives to life-long phenylalanine-restricted dietary therapy.
Project description:Phenylketonuria (PKU) management is aimed at preventing neurocognitive and psychosocial dysfunction by keeping plasma phenylalanine concentrations within the recommended target range. It can be questioned, however, whether universal plasma phenylalanine target levels would result in optimal neurocognitive outcomes for all patients, as similar plasma phenylalanine concentrations do not seem to have the same consequences to the brain for each PKU individual. To better understand the inter-individual differences in brain vulnerability to high plasma phenylalanine concentrations, we aimed to identify untreated and/or late-diagnosed PKU patients with near-normal outcome, despite high plasma phenylalanine concentrations, who are still alive. In total, we identified 16 such cases. While intellectual functioning in these patients was relatively unaffected, they often did present other neurological, psychological, and behavioral problems. Thereby, these "unusual" PKU patients show that the classical symptomatology of untreated or late-treated PKU may have to be rewritten. Moreover, these cases show that a lack of intellectual dysfunction despite high plasma phenylalanine concentrations does not necessarily imply that these high phenylalanine concentrations have not been toxic to the brain. Also, these cases may suggest that different mechanisms are involved in PKU pathophysiology, of which the relative importance seems to differ between patients and possibly also with increasing age. Further research should aim to better distinguish PKU patients with respect to their cerebral effects to high plasma phenylalanine concentrations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The main treatment for phenylketonuria (PKU) is a low phenylalanine (Phe) diet, phenylalanine-free protein substitute and low-protein special foods. This study describes dietary composition and nutritional status in late-diagnosed adult patients adhering to a PKU diet. METHODS:Nineteen patients, followed at Oslo University Hospital in Norway, participated; median age was 48 years (range 26-66). Subjects were mild to severely mentally retarded. Food intake, clinical data and blood analyses relevant for nutritional status were assessed. RESULTS:Median energy intake was 2,091 kcal/day (range 1,537-3,277 kcal/day). Carbohydrates constituted 59% (range 53-70%) of the total energy, including 15% from added sugar; 26% was from fat. The total protein intake was 1.02 g/kg/day (range 0.32-1.36 g/kg/day), including 0.74 g/kg/day (range 0.13-1.07 g/kg/day) from protein substitutes. Median dietary Phe intake was 746 mg/day (range 370-1,370 mg/day). Median serum Phe was 542 ?mol/L (range 146-1,310 mg/day). Fortified protein substitutes supplied the main source of micronutrients. Iron intake was 39.5 mg/day (range 24.6-57 mg/day), exceeding the upper safe intake level. Intake of folate and folic acid, calculated as dietary folate equivalents, was 1,370 ?g/day (range 347-1744 ?g/day), and resulted in high blood folate concentrations. Median intake of vitamin B(12) was 7.0 ?g/day (range 0.9-15.1 ?g/day). CONCLUSIONS:The diet supplied adequate protein and energy. Fortification of the protein substitutes resulted in excess intake of micronutrients. The protein substitutes may require adjustment to meet nutritional recommendations for adults with PKU.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an autosomal recessive disorder of phenylalanine metabolism. The inability to convert phenylalanine (Phe) into tyrosine causes Phe to accumulate in the body. Adherence to a protein restricted diet, resulting in reduced Phe levels, is essential to prevent cognitive decline. Frequent evaluation of plasma Phe levels and, if necessary, adjustment of the diet are the mainstay of treatment. We aimed to assess whether increased self-management of PKU patients and/or their parents is feasible and safe, by providing direct online access to blood Phe values without immediate professional guidance. METHODS: Thirty-eight patients aged ≥ 1 year participated in a 10 month randomized controlled trial. Patients were randomized into a study group (1) or a control group (2). Group 2 continued the usual procedure: a phone call or e-mail by a dietician in case of a deviant Phe value. Group 1 was given a personal "My PKU" web page with a graph of their recent and previous Phe values, online general information about the dietary treatment and the Dutch PKU follow-up guidelines, and a message-box to contact their dietician if necessary. Phe values were provided on "My PKU" without advice. Outcome measures were: differences in mean Phe value, percentage of values above the recommended range and Phe sample frequency, between a 10-month pre-study period and the study period in each group, and between the groups in both periods. Furthermore we assessed satisfaction of patients and/or parents with the 'My PKU' procedure of online availability. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in mean Phe value, percentage of values above recommended range or in frequency of blood spot sampling for Phe determination between the pre-study period and the study period in each group, nor between the 2 groups during the periods. All patients and/or parents expressed a high level of satisfaction with the new way of disease management. CONCLUSIONS: Increased self-management in PKU by providing patients and/or parents their Phe values without advice is feasible and safe and is highly appreciated. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was registered with The Netherlands National Trial Register (NTR #1171) before recruitment of patients.
Project description:Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an autosomal recessive inborn error of phenylalanine metabolism predominantly caused by mutations in the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) gene. Mutation screening was carried out in a large cohort of PKU patients from New South Wales, Australia. Pathogenic mutations were identified in 99% of the alleles screened, with the two most common mutations (p.R408W and IVS12+1G>A) accounting for 30.7% of alleles. Most individuals were compound heterozygotes for previously reported mutations, but four novel mutations (c.163+1G>T, c.164-2A>G, c.461A>T [p.Y154F], and c.510-1G>A) and a novel polymorphism (c.60+62C>T) were also identified. A number of patients have been previously tested for their response to dietary supplementation of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), the cofactor of PAH. Correlation between genotype and the responses revealed that although genotype is a major determinant of BH4 responsiveness, patients with the same genotype may also show disparate responses to this treatment. A clinical and biochemical evaluation should be undertaken to determine the effectiveness of PKU treatment by supplementation of BH4.
Project description:Background:Women with untreated phenylketonuria (PKU) are at an increased risk to have offspring with multiple abnormalities due to teratogenic effects of hyperphenylalaninaemia. Treatment goals include blood phenylalanine concentrations between 120 and 360 µmol/L, however, there are limited pieces of evidence for the practical management of pregnant PKU patient and prediction of phenylalanine tolerance changes during a course of pregnancy. Case:We report the case of a mother with classical PKU (p.R408W/p.R408W) and the course of her two pregnancies with low phenylalanine tolerance increase (347mg and 227mg) despite the rewarding collaboration with a nutritionist. Conclusion:This case report does not confirm the observation that a very low phenylalanine tolerance increase in pregnancy of PKU patient is a marker of coexisting PKU-affection in fetus.
Project description:Many phenylketonuria (PKU) patients cannot adhere to the severe dietary restrictions as advised by the European PKU guidelines, which can be accompanied by aggravated neuropsychological impairments that, at least in part, have been attributed to brain monoaminergic neurotransmitter deficiencies. Supplementation of large neutral amino acids (LNAA) to an unrestricted diet has previously been shown to effectively improve brain monoamines in PKU mice of various ages. To determine the additive value of LNAA supplementation to a liberalized phenylalanine-restricted diet, brain and plasma monoamine and amino acid concentrations in 10 to 16-month-old adult C57Bl/6 PKU mice on a less severe phenylalanine-restricted diet with LNAA supplementation were compared to those on a non-supplemented severe or less severe phenylalanine-restricted diet. LNAA supplementation to a less severe phenylalanine-restricted diet was found to improve both brain monoamine and phenylalanine concentrations. Compared to a severe phenylalanine-restricted diet, it was equally effective to restore brain norepinephrine and serotonin even though being less effective to reduce brain phenylalanine concentrations. These results in adult PKU mice support the idea that LNAA supplementation may enhance the effect of a less severe phenylalanine-restricted diet and suggest that cerebral outcome of PKU patients treated with a less severe phenylalanine-restricted diet may be helped by additional LNAA treatment.