Cognitive and neurological outcome of patients in the Dutch pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy (PDE-ALDH7A1) cohort, a cross-sectional study


Background: Pyridoxine monotherapy in PDE-ALDH7A1 often results in adequate seizure control, but neurodevelopmental outcome varies. Detailed long-term neurological outcome is unknown. Here we present the cognitive and neurological features of the Dutch PDE-ALDH7A1 cohort. Methods: Neurological outcome was assessed in 24 patients (age 1-26 years); classified as normal, complex minor neurological dysfunction (complex MND) or abnormal. Intelligence quotient (IQ) was derived from standardized IQ tests with five severity levels of intellectual disability (ID). MRI’s and treatments were assessed. Results: Ten patients (42%) showed unremarkable neurological examination, 11 (46%) complex MND, and 3 (12%) cerebral palsy (CP). Minor coordination problems were identified in 17 (71%), fine motor disability in 11 (46%), posture/muscle tone deviancies in 11 (46%) and abnormal reflexes in 8 (33%). Six patients (25%) had an IQ > 85, 7 (29%) borderline, 7 (29%) mild, 3 (13%) moderate, and 1 severe ID. Cerebral ventriculomegaly on MRI was progressive in 11. Three patients showed normal neurologic exam, IQ, and MRI. Eleven patients were treated with pyridoxine only and 13 by additional lysine reduction therapy (LRT). LRT started at age <3 years demonstrated beneficial effect on IQ results in 3 patients. Discussion: Complex MND and CP occurred more frequently in PDE-ALDH7A1 (46% and 12%) than in general population (7% and 0.2%, Peters et al., 2011, Schaefer et al., 2008). Twenty-five percent had a normal IQ. Although LRT shows potential to improve outcomes, data are heterogeneous in small patient numbers. More research with longer follow-up via the International PDE Registry ( is needed.

Eur J Paediatr Neurol Jul;33:112-120