Learn About Aspartylglucosaminuria

What is the definition of Aspartylglucosaminuria?

Aspartylglucosaminuria is a condition that primarily affects mental functioning and movement. This conditions worsens over time. Infants with aspartylglucosaminuria appear healthy at birth, and development is typically normal throughout early childhood. Around the age of 2 or 3, affected children usually begin to have delayed speech, mild intellectual disability, and problems coordinating movements. Other features that develop in childhood include respiratory infections, a protrusion of organs through gaps in muscles (hernia), and a growth spurt resulting in a large head size (macrocephaly).

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What are the causes of Aspartylglucosaminuria?

Variants (also known as mutations) in the AGA gene cause aspartylglucosaminuria. The AGA gene provides instructions for producing an enzyme called aspartylglucosaminidase. This enzyme is active in lysosomes, which are structures inside cells that act as recycling centers. Within lysosomes, the enzyme helps break down complex chains of sugar molecules (oligosaccharides) attached to certain proteins (glycoproteins).

How prevalent is Aspartylglucosaminuria?

In Finland, it is estimated that 1 to 3 individuals are born with aspartylglucosaminuria each year. This condition is less common outside of Finland, but the incidence is unknown.

Is Aspartylglucosaminuria an inherited disorder?

This condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of the gene in each cell have variants. The parents of an individual with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the altered gene, but they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition.

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Published Date: January 19, 2022Published By: National Institutes of Health