Quick facts about PKU

Quick facts about PKU
  • Phenylketonuria, also known as PKU, is a genetic disorder that affects a person’s ability to process an important part of protein called phenylalanine or Phe.
  • PKU affects 16,500 people
  • Through newborn screening babies born in the United States are checked for PKU and other metabolic conditions.
  • The diet is hard to follow. Even though individuals with PKU can eat fruits, vegetables, they also have special foods very low in protein. Phe must be calculated using a gram scale, measuring cups or by counting how many pieces, all day, every day.
  • Those with PKU also drink something called medical formula that does not contain Phe, but has all the other parts of protein and many other important nutrients.
  • High Phe levels in individuals can cause neurological complications including executive function issues, memory loss, seizures, learning disabilities,emotional problems and brain damage.