RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Cognitive functions in classic phenylketonuria and mild hyperphenylalaninaemia: experience in a paediatric population.

A study of 37 individuals with phenylketonuria (PKU; 17 females and 20 males, mean age 9y 9mo (standard deviation [SD] 5y 3mo), range 2y 8mo to 19y 4mo; and 35 individuals with hyperphenylalaninaemia (HPA; 20 females, 15 males, mean age 7y 10mo [SD 3y 2mo], range 2y 8mo to 17y 3mo) compared with 29 healthy controls (14 females and 15 males, mean age 9y 8mo [SD 4y 9mo], range 2y 6mo to 18y 10mo) was performed. The aim was to assess cognitive function in persons with HPA and to investigate the relation between cognitive function in PKU and the metabolic control of patients. A wide variety of neuropsychological tests was employed. Those with PKU showed lower values in intelligence and in visuo-spatial, fine motor, executive, and attention functions when compared with a control population. Plasma phenylalanine values from the first 6 years of life were negatively associated with intelligence and other cognitive functions. Executive function scores were significantly lower when comparing HPA patients with the control group. It was concluded that individuals with PKU under dietary treatment may present slightly decreased cognitive function scores when compared with control individuals, while those with HPA have scores mostly similar to those of controls, except for executive function tests. Good metabolic control of PKU seems necessary to prevent cognitive function impairments, especially during the first 6 years of life.

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