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J Pediatr. 2009 May;154(5):721-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2008.11.052. Epub 2009 Feb 1.

Outcomes of siblings with classical galactosemia.

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National Centre for Inherited Metabolic Disorders, Children's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.



To determine the long-term outcome of dietary intervention in siblings from 14 Irish families with classical galactosemia (McKusick 230400), an autosomal recessive disorder of carbohydrate metabolism and galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT) deficiency.


Outcomes in siblings on dietary galactose restriction were studied to evaluate whether birth order (ie, time of commencement of diet) and compliance with lactose-restricted diet (galactose intake > or < 20 mg /day), assessed by dietary recall and biochemical monitoring of galactose-1-phosphate [Gal-1-P] and galactitol values, affected outcomes. The outcome variables assessed were IQ, speech, and language assessment scores, neurologic examination results, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain.


There was a high incidence of complications in the overall group, particularly speech and language delay (77%) and low IQ (71%). There was no significant difference in outcome between earlier-treated and later-treated siblings or any correlation with mean Gal-1-P or galactitol values. In most cases, cerebral white matter disease was evident on MRI scanning, with evidence of progressive cerebellar degeneration seen in 2 highly compliant families.


The subjects with a higher galactose intake did not exhibit an increased incidence of complications; conversely, those who were very compliant with dietary restrictions did not have more favorable outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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