“Expression analysis in heterozygous mammalian cells after site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated that the Arg158-to-Gln158 mutation is a PKU mutation, whereas the Arg261-to-Gln261 mutation is apparently silent in the assay system.”
“Following the introduction 30 years ago of neonatal screening and early dietary treatment for phenylketonuria there has been a dramatic decrease in the severity of neurological dysfunction associated with this disorder. However, there is evidence that subtle neurological impairment remains common in early treated subjects and in the last 3 years there have been a number of reports of overt neurological impairment with white matter abnormalities on MRI...These data are consistent with studies in animals showing that hyperphenylalaninaemia increases myelin turnover in a dose dependent manner. It is suggested that the effects of phenylalanine on myelin pose a lifelong hazard to the nervous system.”
If undiagnosed and untreated, phenylketonuria can result in impaired postnatal cognitive development resulting from a neurotoxic effect of hyperphenylalaninemia.