Two sisters were diagnosed in their adulthood with aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency (OMIM#608643). They experienced early myasthenia-like manifestations, myoclonic jerks, oculogyric crises, tremors, and developmental delay during childhood; clinical stabilization afterwards; and spontaneous improvement during adolescence and young adulthood. Two novel pathogenic mutations on DDC gene [p.Tyr37Thrfs*5 (c.105delC) and p.F237S (c.710 T>C)] were associated with undetectable enzyme activity in plasma and only a mild reduction of biogenic amines in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The increase of both 3-O-methyldopa and 5-hydroxytryptophan on CSF was the most relevant biochemical alteration denoting AADC defect in these subjects. Transdermal rotigotine remarkably improved their gross motor functions and the asthenic status they complained. The present cases broaden the phenotypic spectrum of AADC deficiency and suggest that (1) AADC defect is not a progressive neurological disease and behaves rather as a neurodevelopmental disorder that improves during the second decade of life; (2) treatment-naïve adults can still respond well to neurotransmitter therapy; and (3) the possibility of a mild presentation of AADC deficiency should be considered when examining young adults with asthenic and parkinsonian symptoms.
- aromatic L-amino Acid decarboxylase deficiency