The Phenylketonuria (PKU) appears approximately once in every 8000 newborns.
If left untreated, this metabolic disease usually leads to serious brain damage in the growing child, which will require constant care throughout life. However, if the disorder is identified in the first weeks of life and treated with an appropriate diet, the child will be healthy. PKU prevents the body from processing the amino acid phenylalanine, a normal component of all animal and plant proteins usually absorbed by the body during digestion. Lack of degradation leads to the accumulation of metabolic substances that are poisonous to the brain.
A special diet containing low levels of phenylalanine prevents the disease from advancing.
Incidence is about one in 8000 newborns, with varying severity.
The therapy for PKU consists of limiting the amount of phenylalanine intake.
This is achieved by means of low-protein foods.
Long-term care should take place in collaboration with a clinic that is experienced in this area, and can carry out the regularly needed tests and laboratory controls.