Phenotypic and Genotypic Spectrum of Glucose Transporter-1 Deficiency Syndrome

Can J Neurol Sci. 2021 Nov;48(6):826-830. doi: 10.1017/cjn.2021.3. Epub 2021 Jan 12.


Background: Glucose Transporter-1 (GLUT1) Deficiency Syndrome (GLUT1DS) is caused by defective transport of glucose across the blood-brain barrier into brain cells resulting in hypoglycorrhachia due to the heterozygous pathogenic variants in SLC2A1. We report on the phenotypic spectrum of patients with pediatric GLUT1DS as well as their diagnostic methods from a single center in Canada.

Methods: We reviewed patient charts for clinical features, biochemical and molecular genetic investigations, neuroimaging, treatment modalities, and outcomes of patients with GLUT1DS at our institution.

Results: There were 13 patients. The most common initial symptom was seizures, with the most common seizure type being absence seizures (85%). Seventy-seven percent of the patients had movement disorders, and dystonia and ataxia were the most common movement disorders. Fifty-four percent of the patients did not have a history of developmental delay during their initial presentation, whereas all patients had developmental delay, intellectual disability, or cognitive dysfunction during their follow-up. All patients had a pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant in SLC2A1 and missense variants were the most common variant type.

Conclusion: We present 13 patients with GLUT1DS in the pediatric patient population. Atypical clinical features such as hemiplegia and hemiplegic migraine were present in an infant; there was a high prevalence of absence seizures and movement disorders in our patient population. We report an increased number of patients with GLUT1DS since the introduction of next-generation sequencing in the clinical settings. We believe that GLUT1DS should be included in the differential diagnosis of seizures, movement disorders, and hemiplegic migraine.

Keywords: Epilepsy; Glucose Transporter-1 (GLUT1) Deficiency Syndrome; Movement disorder; The ketogenic diet.

MeSH terms

  • Carbohydrate Metabolism, Inborn Errors* / diagnosis
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism, Inborn Errors* / genetics
  • Child
  • Diet, Ketogenic* / methods
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1 / genetics
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Seizures / genetics


  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • SLC2A1 protein, human