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J Paediatr Child Health. 2006 May;42(5):263-7.

Seizures, ataxia, developmental delay and the general paediatrician: glucose transporter 1 deficiency syndrome.

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Department of Metabolic Medicine, The Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.



Glucose transporter 1 deficiency syndrome (GLUT1-DS) is an important condition for the general paediatrician's differential armamentarium. We describe a case series of eight patients in order to raise awareness of this treatable neurometabolic condition. The diagnosis of GLUT1-DS is suggested by a decreased absolute cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) glucose value (<2.2 mmol/L) or lowered CSF: plasma glucose ratio (<0.4).


This is a review of eight Queensland patients with GLUT1-DS. The clinical presentation, clinical course, laboratory investigations and treatment outcomes are discussed.


The clinical features noted in our patient cohort include combinations of ataxia, developmental delay and a severe seizure disorder that is refractory to anticonvulsant medications. Seizures are the most common clinical manifestation and may be exacerbated by phenobarbitone. The paired CSF: plasma glucose results ranged from 0.2 to 0.39 (normal <0.6) with an average of 0.33. 3-O-Methyl-D-Glucose uptake and GLUT1 Genotyping analysis have been performed on five patients thus far. Rapid and impressive seizure control was observed in 100% of our patients once the ketogenic diet was instituted, with half of the cohort being able to wean completely from anticonvulsants.


Children presenting with a clinical phenotype consisting of a refractory seizure disorder, ataxia and developmental delay should prompt the consideration of Glucose transporter 1 deficiency syndrome. While the diagnostic test of lumbar puncture is an invasive manoeuvre, the diagnosis provides a viable treatment option, the ketogenic diet. GLUT1-DS displays clinical heterogeneity, but the value of early diagnosis and treatment is demonstrated by our patient cohort.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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