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J Inherit Metab Dis. 2011 Oct;34(5):1039-44. doi: 10.1007/s10545-011-9342-4. Epub 2011 May 10.

Genistein supplementation in patients affected by Sanfilippo disease.

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  • 1Neuropediatrics Department, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Barcelona, Spain.



Mucopolysaccharidosis type III (Sanfilippo syndrome) is a group of autosomal recessive disorders caused by a deficiency in one of the four enzymes involved in the lysosomal degradation of heparan sulfate. Genistein supplementation has been proposed as a potential therapy for the reduction of substrates in patients with these disorders.


The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness and potential side effects of genistein supplementation in MPS III patients.


Open-label study, with 19 children (10 males and 9 females) enrolled with confirmed diagnosis of MPS III (age range 2.8-19 years). Patients were supplemented with genistein (5 mg kg(-1) day(-1)) for 1 year. Clinical evaluation, hair morphology, urinary glycosaminoglycan analysis, study of nutritional parameters, and other routine biochemical tests were performed.


We did not observe an improvement in the disability scale; after genistein treatment, in most patients there was an increased disability score or it remained unchanged. There was a relative decrease in the recurrence of infections and gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as improvement in skin texture and hair morphology. Glycosaminoglycan levels were above normal at all control points and showed great variability in their elimination.


Our results suggest that genistein supplementation at 5 mg kg(-1) day(-1) did not improve disability estimated by using a particular scale.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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