Efficacy of vigabatrin intervention in a mild phenotypic expression of succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency

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Department of Biological Sciences


We report a patient with succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency who presented a mild phenotype including developmental language delay, in association with the typical elevations of 4-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) in biological fluids and MRI alterations. Two pathogenic mutations were identified one transversion (c.278 G> T) in exon 1 and another (c.1557 T> G) in exon 10. Both parents are carriers of one of the mutations, confirming compound-heterozygosity in their affected child. To reduce the GHB levels in body fluids, a treatment with vigabatrin at low dose (25 mg/kg per day) was started, monitoring its efficacy by clinical and neurochemical follow-up. After 9 months of therapy with vigabatrin, a significant reduction of GHB concentrations in urine and CSF was observed; after 36 months, a significant improvement of communicative skills, not previously reported, was referred. These results support the hypothesis that the clinical improvement is correlated to the reduction in the GHB levels and the importance of considering the SSADH deficiency in the differential diagnosis of patients with mental retardation and language delay.

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JIMD Reports