Maple Syrup Urine Disease

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Maple Syrup Urine Disease is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by deficiency of certain enzymes (branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase complex) required to breakdown (metabolize) specific amino acids in the body. Because these amino acids are not metabolized, they, along with their various byproducts, abnormally accumulate in the cells and fluids of the body. Such accumulation can cause a variety of symptoms including lethargy, irritability, poor feeding, abnormal movements and a characteristic odor of maple syrup in the earwax (cerumen), sweat and urine of affected individuals. In addition, if untreated various neurological complications including seizures, coma and brain damage may occur. Failure to promptly detect and treat MSUD can lead to life-threatening complications. However, the disorder can be successfully managed through a specialized diet. Even with treatment affected individuals remain at risk for developing episodes of acute illness (metabolic crisis) often triggered by infection, injury, failure to eat (fasting) or psychological stress. During these episodes there is a rapid, sudden spike in amino acid levels necessitating immediate medical intervention.

At least four subtypes of MSUD have been identified in the medical literature. Some researchers include a fifth subtype, although other researchers consider this a separate distinct disorder. The various subtypes of MSUD have different levels of residual enzyme activity, different severity, and different ages of onset. All forms are inherited as autosomal recessive traits.

Supporting Organizations

Belgian Association for Metabolic Diseases

Floralaan 35A
Beveren, 9120
Belgium
Tel: 03 775 48 39
Fax: 03 775 48 39
Email: info@boks.be
Website: http://www.boks.be/

CLIMB (Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases)

Climb Building
176 Nantwich Road
Crewe, CW2 6BG
United Kingdom
Tel: 4408452412173
Fax: 4408452412174
Email: enquiries@climb.org.uk
Website: http://www.CLIMB.org.uk

Cook for Love, Inc.

30 Seneca Street
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Tel: (914)674-1025
Email: info@cookforlove.org
Website: http://www.cookforlove.org

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

MSUD Family Support

9517 Big Bear Ave
Powell, OH 43065
United States
Tel: 740-972-5619
Email: sandybulcher@gmail.com
Website: http://www.msud-support.org/

March of Dimes

1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763
Email: AskUs@marchofdimes.org or preguntas@nacersano.org
Website: http://www.marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org

NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases

Office of Communications & Public Liaison
Bldg 31, Rm 9A06
Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
Tel: (301)496-3583
Email: NDDIC@info.niddk.nih.gov
Website: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/

The Arc

1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202)534-3700
Fax: (202)534-3731
Tel: (800)433-5255
Email: info@thearc.org
Website: http://www.thearc.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  8/7/2007
Copyright  2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.