Early-treated phenylketonuria: adult neuropsychologic outcome

J Pediatr. 1994 Mar;124(3):388-92. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(94)70360-4.


Twenty-five adults with phenylketonuria that was treated early were compared with 15 unaffected control siblings with respect to intellectual and neuropsychologic measures. Patients were found to have normal intelligence but were significantly lower than their control siblings on measures of intelligence, attention, and complex visuoconstructional ability. Stepwise multiple regression analyses found the patients' intellectual outcome to be best predicted by indexes reflecting early insult to the brain, whereas performance on a measure of novel problem solving was best predicted by concurrent serum phenylalanine level. Different pathophysiologic mechanisms may thus account for cognitive deficits in this population. These results provide further evidence of continuing benefits of dietary adherence into adulthood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Patient Compliance
  • Phenylketonurias / diet therapy
  • Phenylketonurias / psychology*
  • Regression Analysis