13PKU OnsetThe inability to metabolize PKU exists from the time the infant is in the womb.Infants are screened for PKU by a blood test shortly after birth.
14PKU OnsetHigh levels of phenylalanine in the blood indicate an inability to process the amino acid, and thus indicate that an individual is affected by the disorder.
15PKU OnsetTesting must be accomplished quickly since the inability to process phenylalanine means it can build up to toxic levels and cause severe mental retardation.
16PKU TreatmentThe only treatment available for PKU is a diet where phenylalanine levels are strictly limited.
17PKU TreatmentMeat, fish, eggs, cheese, milk products, legumes, and bread are all foods that have high levels of phenylalanine
18PKU TreatmentArtificial protein substitutes are given which contain amino acids without phenylalanine
19PKU PrognosisIf the condition was not diagnosed early and a special diet started, the indidivudal will suffer severe and irreversable brain damage.
20PKU PrognosisIf detected early, the individual will develop normally but will have to follow the special diet at least until adolescence, if not throughout their entire life.
21PKU PrognosisWomen with PKU who wish to become pregnant must also eat the special diet, since children in the womb affected with PKU will not be able to metabolize the phenylalanine the mother ingests.