“Among 43 fully-informative families 16 RFLP haplotypes were identified. Haplotype 2 is the most frequently (62%) associated with Polish PKU alleles, and the codon 408 mutation is in complete linkage disequilibrium with this haplotype in Poland.”
“We now report the molecular lesion associated with the RFLP haplotype 2 mutant allele. This defect is caused by a C-to-T transition in exon 12 resulting in an amino-acid substitution (Arg to Trp) at residue 408 of PAH. Direct hybridization analysis of the point mutation using a specific oligonucleotide probe demonstrated that this mutation is also in linkage disequilibrium with RFLP haplotype 2 alleles that make up about 20% of mutant PAH genes.”
“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.