AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 3, 2018

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Intravenous Arginine Benefits Children after Acute Metabolic Stroke

CHOP Researchers Find Notable Responses, No Adverse Events in Children with Mitochondrial Disease

 

Children with mitochondrial diseases who suffered acute metabolic strokes benefited from rapid intravenous treatment with the amino acid arginine, experiencing no side effects from the treatment. The diseases were caused by a range of different genetic disorders. In half of the stroke episodes, patients showed clinical improvements in symptoms such as seizures and partial paralysis. 

Mitochondrial disease results from malfunctions in mitochondria, the energy-generating “batteries” dwelling within our cells. Caused by mutations in roughly 300 different genes, there are a broad variety of mitochondrial disorders, most of which currently have no effective treatment. 

Two mitochondrial medicine experts from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) reported on eight years of clinical experience in providing intravenous (IV) arginine when new-onset neurologic problems concerning for acute stroke-like episode developed in nine pediatric mitochondrial disease patients. 

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