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Brain Dev. 2010 Feb;32(2):79-81. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2009.01.008. Epub 2009 Mar 16.

Guanidinoacetate methyltransferase deficiency (GAMT).

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  • 1Huntlywood, Wilmslow, UK.


An increasing number of disorders of metabolism are becoming amenable to the treatment, and GAMT deficiency is one of them. The symptoms and signs are reviewed, emphasising that delayed language development is a particular feature. Other symptoms include learning disorders, autistic behaviour, epileptic seizures, and movement disorders. The condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, and mutations in the GAMT gene severely affect the activity of guanidinoacetate. The MRI scan shows an increased signal in the globus pallidus, and the diagnosis is confirmed by finding increased guanidinoacetate in the urine and a low plasma creatine. Other methods of diagnosis are discussed. Treatment is based on giving creatine supplementation orally and a low-protein diet with restricted arginine and increased ornithine. This results in improvement of many of the symptoms, especially of the epileptic seizures and the abnormal movements. It is justifiable to consider this condition in any patient with unexplained learning disorders.

2010. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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