Depressive symptoms in adolescents with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria: Associations with phenylalanine and tyrosine levels

Sharman, Rachael, Sullivan, Karen, Young, Ross McD. and McGill, Jim (2012) Depressive symptoms in adolescents with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria: Associations with phenylalanine and tyrosine levels. Gene, 504 2: 288-291. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2012.05.007

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Author Sharman, Rachael
Sullivan, Karen
Young, Ross McD.
McGill, Jim
Title Depressive symptoms in adolescents with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria: Associations with phenylalanine and tyrosine levels
Journal name Gene   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-1119
Publication date 2012-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.gene.2012.05.007
Volume 504
Issue 2
Start page 288
End page 291
Total pages 4
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Previous research has suggested an increased risk for individuals with phenylketonuria (PKU) of developing depression and other mood disorders. As PKU can disrupt neurotransmitter synthesis via biochemical mechanisms, depressive symptoms are hypothesised to result from neurotransmitter dysregulation. Whilst adherence (or return) to the phenylalanine-restricted diet may resolve or improve symptoms of depression, data to demonstrate a direct relationship between biochemistry and mood in this population are lacking.
Methods: Thirteen adolescents with early and continuously treated PKU and eight sibling controls were compared in their total reported depressive symptoms. A general executive function assessment was also undertaken in the PKU group. Correlations between depressive symptoms and biochemical markers were examined within the PKU group only.
Results: Correlational analyses within the PKU group demonstrated strong and significant associations between depressive symptoms and long term exposure to either a high phenylalanine:tyrosine ratio, or low tyrosine. Increasing symptoms of depression were also found to be associated with poorer executive function in the PKU sample. However, both groups of adolescents scored within the normal range in symptoms of depression (p > 0.05).
Conclusions: Significant associations were observed between biochemical markers indicating poorer dietary control and increasing depressive symptoms in a sample of adolescents with early and continuously treated PKU, although symptoms of depression remained within the normal range. An association between depressive symptoms and poorer EF was also demonstrated. Further research is needed to establish whether the depressive symptoms observed in this young population represent an emerging (subclinical) risk for major depressive disorder as they age.
Keyword Phenylketonuria
PKU
Phenylalanine
Tyrosine
Depression
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 15 May 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 01 Jul 2012, 23:34:16 EST by Matthew Lamb on behalf of School of Medicine