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Copper-histidine therapy in an infant with novel splice-site variant in the ATP7A gene of Menkes disease: the first experience in South East Asia and literature review


Menkes disease (MD) is an X linked recessive multi-systemic disorder of copper metabolism, resulting from an ATP7A gene mutation. We report a male infant aged 4 months who presented with kinky hair, hypopigmented skin, epilepsy and delayed development. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of brain demonstrated multiple tortuosities of intracranial vessels and brain atrophy. Investigation had showed markedly decreased serum copper and ceruloplasmin. The novel c.2172+1G>T splice-site mutation in the ATP7A gene confirmed MD. He was treated with subcutaneous administration of locally prepared copper-histidine (Cu-His). Following the therapy, hair manifestation was restored and serum ceruloplasmin was normalised 1 month later. Despite the treatment, epilepsy, neurodevelopment and osteoporosis still progressed. He died from severe respiratory tract infection at the age of 9.5 months. These findings suggest that the benefit of Cu-His in our case is limited which might be related to severe presentations and degree of ATP7A mutation.

  • metabolic disorders
  • genetics

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