We talked a bit about PKU (Phenylketonuria) in lecture on Wed. but I thought it would be interesting to go into a little more depth on the condition…. I found a really good article on PKU from ScienceDaily magazine that I will post a link to. This is a summary of the article :

PKU is described by scientists as an autosomal recessive genetic disease that is characterized by a deficiency in an enzyme called phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH), which is the enzyme that breaks down Phenylalanine. If the body is unable to break down Phenylalanine, it will build up and that can cause an array of problems with the most serious being severe brain damage causing forms of mental retardation. People with PKU are on a very strict diet composed of very little protein in order to keep Phenylalanine levels down. There is a new pharmaceutical drug being developed that is designed to enable PKU sufferers to be able to have a normal diet, which would help with many other aspects of life like mood and the ability to concentrate.

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