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J Med Assoc Thai. 2005 Nov;88 Suppl 3:S290-4.

Menkes syndrome: a case report.

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Department of Pediatrics, Phramongkutklao Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.


Menkes syndrome is caused by mutation of ATP7A gene that encode copper-binding membrane protein localized to the trans-Golgi membrane. Mutation of this gene causes defective exportation of copper from the cell. Intracellular accumulation of copper does not reach the toxic state, as copper entering the body is trapped in the intestinal epithelium. Copper requiring enzymes are dysfunction and cause multisystemic manifestations. The authors report a Thai boy 8 months of age who had depigmentation and kinky hair at birth. He developed myoclonic jerk at 3 months of age. He had hypopigmentation of the skin, delayed development, hypotonia, pectus excurvatum, loose skin and joints. He had anemia, very low serum copper and ceruloplasmin. X-ray showed Wormian bone of skull, osteopenia of long bones and generalized brain atrophy. The presented case has similar clinical and laboratory findings to 2 previous reports by Songkla University and Siriraj Hospital. Treatment is not effective due to unavailability of copper- histidinate and the patient already had severe brain damage. Genetic counseling is important to prevent the next offspring. Biochemical and molecular diagnosis are available for confirmation and prenatal diagnosis, but these techniques have limitations in Thailand.

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