Expanding the phenotype of Brunner syndrome from childhood to adulthood: Description of the second pediatric patient and his mother

Am J Med Genet A. 2024 Jan;194(1):82-87. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.63413. Epub 2023 Sep 26.


Brunner syndrome is a recessive X-linked disorder caused by pathogenic variants in the monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA). It is characterized by distinctive aggressive behavior, mild intellectual disability, sleep disturbances, and typical biochemical alterations deriving from the impaired monoamine metabolism. We herein describe a 5-year-old boy with developmental delay, autistic features, and myoclonic epilepsy, and his mother, who had mild intellectual disability and recurrent episodes of palpitations, headache, abdominal pain, and abdominal bloating. Whole exome sequencing allowed detection of the maternally-inherited variant c.410A>G, (p.Glu137Gly) in the MAOA gene. The subsequent biochemical studies confirmed the MAOA deficiency both in the child and his mother. Given the serotonergic symptoms associated with high serotonin levels found in the mother, treatment with a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and dietary modifications were carried out, resulting in regression of the biochemical abnormalities and partial reduction of symptoms. Our report expands the phenotypic spectrum of Brunner disease, bringing new perspectives on the behavioral and neurodevelopmental phenotype from childhood to adulthood.

Keywords: Brunner syndrome; MAO-A deficiency; intellectual disability; neurodevelopmental disorder.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability* / diagnosis
  • Intellectual Disability* / genetics
  • Intellectual Disability* / pathology
  • Male
  • Monoamine Oxidase / chemistry
  • Monoamine Oxidase / genetics
  • Monoamine Oxidase / metabolism
  • Mothers
  • Phenotype
  • Young Adult


  • Monoamine Oxidase

Supplementary concepts

  • Brunner Syndrome