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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2005 Aug;26(4):276-82.

Incidence of brain creatine transporter deficiency in males with developmental delay referred for brain magnetic resonance imaging.

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Division of Developmental Disabilities, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.


Several case reports describe children with global developmental delay who have brain creatine deficiency, where the deficiency was due to a lack of creatine transport into the brain or altered creatine synthesis. The purpose of this study was to determine what percentage of males with developmental delay referred for brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the authors' institution in a 12-month period was found to have brain creatine deficiency due to a defect in the creatine transporter gene. In the authors' facility, single voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is routinely performed on any male child age 2 to 18 years with a history of language and/or developmental delay referred for a brain MRI. Charts for the 12-month time period were retrospectively reviewed. Fourteen subjects met inclusion criteria for global developmental delay. Two of the 14 patients had brain creatine deficiency on MRS. In the remaining 12, other structural and white matter abnormalities were identified. This study suggests that brain creatine deficiency is an important consideration in the differential diagnosis of males with global developmental delay referred for brain MRI; brain MRS should be considered in such cases.

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