A case for newborn screening for pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy


Pyridoxine dependent epilepsy due to mutations in ALDH7A1 (PDH-ALDH7A1) is a highly treatable developmental and epileptic encephalopathy. Pharmacologic doses of pyridoxine are associated with dramatic clinical seizure improvement and most patient achieve adequate seizure control with pyridoxine alone. Unfortunately, patients with PDE-ALDH7A1 have died prior to diagnosis and subsequent treatment with pyridoxine highlighting the importance of a timely diagnosis. Although critical for seizure control, pyridoxine treatment alone is not sufficient for normal outcomes as most patients suffer intellectual and developmental delay. Adjunct lysine reduction therapies are associated with significant developmental improvements although these treatments have limited efficacy if delayed after the first few months of life. Recently two biomarkers were identified that overcome previous technical hurdles for newborn screening. Herein we provide commentary that PDE-ALDH7A1 meets both current and historic criteria for newborn screening, and that a neonatal diagnosis and treatment can both reduce mortality from uncontrolled seizures and significantly improve the cognitive delay that is pervasive in this treatable disorder.

Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud 2022 Feb 25:mcs.a006197