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Papers of the Week

2020 Sep

Epilepsia Open



Glut1 Deficiency Syndrome (Glut1DS): State of the art in 2020 and recommendations of the international Glut1DS study group.


Klepper J, Akman C, Armeno M, Auvin S, Cervenka M, Cross HJ, De Giorgis V, Della Marina A, Engelstad K, Heussinger N, Kossoff EH, Leen WG, Leiendecker B, Monani UR, Oguni H, Neal E, Pascual JM, Pearson TS, Pons R, Scheffer IE, et al.
Epilepsia Open. 2020 Sep; 5(3):354-365.
PMID: 32913944.


Glut1 deficiency syndrome (Glut1DS) is a brain energy failure syndrome caused by impaired glucose transport across brain tissue barriers. Glucose diffusion across tissue barriers is facilitated by a family of proteins including glucose transporter type 1 (Glut1). Patients are treated effectively with ketogenic diet therapies (KDT) that provide a supplemental fuel, namely ketone bodies, for brain energy metabolism. The increasing complexity of Glut1DS, since its original description in 1991, now demands an international consensus statement regarding diagnosis and treatment. International experts (n = 23) developed a consensus statement utilizing their collective professional experience, responses to a standardized questionnaire, and serial discussions of wide-ranging issues related to Glut1DS. Key clinical features signaling the onset of Glut1DS are eye-head movement abnormalities, seizures, neurodevelopmental impairment, deceleration of head growth, and movement disorders. Diagnosis is confirmed by the presence of these clinical signs, hypoglycorrhachia documented by lumbar puncture, and genetic analysis showing pathogenic variants. KDT represent standard choices with Glut1DS-specific recommendations regarding duration, composition, and management. Ongoing research has identified future interventions to restore Glut1 protein content and function. linical manifestations are influenced by patient age, genetic complexity, and novel therapeutic interventions. All clinical phenotypes will benefit from a better understanding of Glut1DS natural history throughout the life cycle and from improved guidelines facilitating early diagnosis and prompt treatment. Often, the presenting seizures are treated initially with antiseizure drugs before the cause of the epilepsy is ascertained and appropriate KDT are initiated. Initial drug treatment fails to treat the underlying metabolic disturbance during early brain development, contributing to the long-term disease burden. Impaired development of the brain microvasculature is one such complication of delayed Glut1DS treatment in the postnatal period. This international consensus statement should facilitate prompt diagnosis and guide best standard of care for Glut1DS throughout the life cycle.