Pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency
Other Names for this Disease
- Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex deficiency
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Treatment of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) deficiency rarely influences the course of the disease, but goals include stimulating the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHC), providing alternative sources of energy, and preventing immediate, acute worsening of the condition. However, even with treatment, damage to the central nervous system is common. Lactic acid accumulation may be lessened by giving a high fat/low carbohydrate (ketogenic) diet, but this does not alleviate the neurological symptoms, because structural damage in the brain is typically present from before birth. There is some evidence that a medication called dichloroacetate may reduce the metabolic issues in some patients. The standard of care is to supplement cofactors, which are substances in the body that help the chemical reactions in the cells to occur; these include thiamine, carnitine, and lipoic acid. The individuals with PDH deficiency that respond to these cofactors (especially thiamine) usually have a better outcome. However, giving all of these cofactors to all patients with PDH deficiency is typical in order to optimize pyruvate dehydrogenase complex function. Oral citrate is often used to treat acidosis.
Last updated: 1/4/2011
- G K Brown, L J Otero, M LeGris, R M Brown. Pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency. Journal of Medical Genetics. 1994; 31:875-879. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1016663/pdf/jmedgene00001-0059.pdf. Accessed 1/4/2011.
- Richard E Frye, Paul J Benke. Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex deficiency. eMedicine. November 6, 2009; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/948360-overview. Accessed 1/3/2011.
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