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Mol Genet Metab. 2010 Oct-Nov;101(2-3):246-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2010.06.017. Epub 2010 Jul 6.

Adult Polyglucosan Body Disease (APBD): Anaplerotic diet therapy (Triheptanoin) and demonstration of defective methylation pathways.

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Baylor Research Institute, Institute of Metabolic Disease, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75226, United States.


APBD is a rare disorder most often affecting adults of Ashkenazi Jewish origin due to partial deficiency of the glycogen brancher enzyme (GBE). It is characterized by progressive involvement of both the central and peripheral nervous systems and deposition of amylopectin-like polyglucosan bodies. There have been no metabolic derangements that might suggest effective therapy nor have there been any clinical improvements for control of its relentless progression. The APBD patients, in this study, experienced stabilization of disease progression, and limited functional improvement in most patients with dietary triheptanoin. Due to a plateau in clinical improvement, the reduced plasma creatinine and methionine levels prompted evaluation of other plasma methylation intermediates in this complex integrated pathway system: decreased S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) (p<0.002), increased S-adenosylhomocysteine (p<0.001), elevated creatine (p=0.001) and increased free choline (p<0.001). Plasma levels of homocysteine and guanidinoacetate were normal. Impaired metabolism of choline and creatine may relate to the progressive dysmyelination and progressive muscle weakness associated with APBD. The partial deficiency of GBE appears to produce a secondary energy deficit possibly related to inadequate reserves of normal glycogen for efficient degradation to free glucose. Dysfunctional regulation of glycogen synthase (GS) may result in continued synthesis and deposition of polyglucosan bodies. This investigation has demonstrated, for the first time, arrest of clinical deterioration with limited functional recovery with triheptanoin diet therapy and the existence of significant derangement of methylation pathways that, when corrected, may lead to even greater therapeutic benefits.

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