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Abnormal glutamate metabolism in an adult-onset degenerative neurological disorder

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Science  09 Apr 1982:
Vol. 216, Issue 4542, pp. 193-196
DOI: 10.1126/science.6121377

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Abstract

In patients with recessive, adult-onset olivopontocerebellar degeneration associated with a partial deficiency of glutamate dehydrogenase, the concentration of glutamate in plasma was significantly higher than that in controls. Plasma alpha-ketoglutarate was significantly lower. Oral administration of monosodium glutamate resulted in excessive accumulation of this amino acid in plasma and lack of increase in the ratio of plasma lactate to pyruvate in the glutamate dehydrogenase-deficient patients. Decreased glutamate catabolism may result in an excess of glutamate in the nervous system and cause neuronal degeneration.