Metabolic Disorders Inborn errors of neurotransmitter metabolism
Aromatic L-amino Acid Decarboxylase (AADC) Deficiency
The information on the Rare Awareness Rare Education (RARE) Portal is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace professional advice.
Rare diseases typically display a high level of symptom complexity and variability. Individuals diagnosed with the same rare disease may be impacted differently and each person’s experience is unique. Please seek support from qualified healthcare professionals to learn more about the most suitable care and support options for you.
For more information on this rare disease, please refer to the Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center – Aromatic L-amino Acid Decarboxylase Deficiency.1
There are currently no known organisations in Australia specifically for this rare disease. If you know of any rare disease organisation/s supporting people living with AADC Deficiency in Australia, please let us know via the Contribute page. If you are interested in starting an Australian organisation for people living with Aromatic L-amino Acid Decarboxylase (AADC) Deficiency, please see Engaged, Ethical and Effective: A Guide for Rare Disease Organisation Leaders in Australia.
If you are aware of any additional information that may benefit stakeholders with an interest in this page, or if you notice any broken links or misleading information, please let us know via the Contribute page.
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Emergency Management | Clinical Care Guidelines | Synonyms | Summary | Symptoms | Cause/Inheritance | Diagnosis | Treatment | Clinical Care | Research | Rare Disease Organisation(s) | Social Services | Mental Health | Other | References
There may be special considerations for the emergency management of individuals living with AADC Deficiency presenting to emergency departments.
Clinical Care Guidelines
Clinical Care Guidelines for AADC Deficiency are yet to be developed in Australia.
There is an international consensus guideline prepared by the iNTD and patient representatives – Consensus guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency.2
Aromatic Amino Acid Decarboxylase Deficiency; AADC Deficiency; DDC Deficiency; Dopa Decarboxylase Deficiency; ORPHA:35708
Aromatic L-amino Acid Decarboxylase (AADC) Deficiency is a condition caused by mutations in the dopa decarboxylase (DDC) gene that affects communication between cells in the body’s nervous system.1 The DDC gene is involved in the production of neurotransmitters, which are signals that allow the cells to talk to each other. When the neurotransmitters are not produced correctly, it prevents the nervous system from functioning properly. Symptoms of AADC Deficiency include difficulties in controlling movement of the head, face and neck, body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate.1
Symptoms of AADC Deficiency may include difficulties in controlling movement of the head, face and neck, body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate.1
It is best to speak to your medical team to learn more about the symptoms and complications of AADC Deficiency.
There may be some symptoms that act as red flags to signal a rare genetic disease diagnosis. The Family GENES mnemonic is a useful resource for prompting clinicians to consider a rare genetic disease diagnosis.
AADC Deficiency is an autosomal recessive inherited disorder caused by genetic mutations in the DDC gene. The DDC gene is responsible for making the AADC enzyme that is involved in the production of neurotransmitters.
If you would like to learn more about the inheritance and impact of this condition, please ask your doctor for a referral to a genetic counsellor. Genetic counsellors are qualified allied health professionals who can provide information and support regarding genetic conditions and testing. More information on genetic counselling can be found on the National Services page and specific State and Territory Services pages on the RARE Portal.
Diagnosis of AADC Deficiency may be established based on a spinal tap and blood test that show abnormalities in levels of neurotransmitters and enzymes related to the disorder. Genetic testing may be used to confirm the diagnosis. It is recommended that doctors use at least two of these methods to diagnose AADC Deficiency.2
A urine metabolic screen can also be performed to look for increased levels of urine vanillactic acid (VLA), which can be indicative of AADC Deficiency; however normal levels of VLA do not exclude an AADC Deficiency diagnosis.2
Further information about diagnostic tests for AADC Deficiency can be found in an international consensus guideline prepared by the International Working Group on Neurotransmitter Related Disorders (iNTD) and patient representatives – Consensus guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency.2 It is best to speak to your medical team to learn more about the diagnostic tests available in Australia.
It is best to speak with your medical team to learn more about possible treatment of AADC Deficiency and associated symptoms. Treatment will depend on an individual’s specific symptoms and complications.
Healthcare professionals involved in the treatment of AADC Deficiency may include general practitioners (GP), paediatricians, geneticists, neurologists and metabolic physicians. The need for different healthcare professionals may change over a person’s lifetime and may extend beyond those listed here.
Please visit Australian Clinical Trials to learn about clinical trials for AADC Deficiency in Australia; there may not be any clinical trials currently available.
Information regarding clinical trials for AADC Deficiency in other countries can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov; there may not be any clinical trials currently available.
It is best to discuss your interest in any clinical trials with your medical team to determine suitability and eligibility.
The iNTD has a patient registry for neurotransmitter related disorders, which includes AADC Deficiency.
Rare Disease Organisation(s)
There are currently no known rare disease organisations/s supporting people living with AADC Deficiency in Australia. If you are aware of any AADC Deficiency organisations in Australia, please let us know via the Contribute page.
Global organisation supporting AADC Deficiency:
Genetic Alliance Australia (GAA), Genetic Support Network of Victoria (GSNV) and Syndromes Without a Name (SWAN) Australia may be able to provide some support for families and individuals affected by an undiagnosed or rare genetic condition for which there is no disease specific organisation in Australia.
Please note that RVA does not necessarily monitor or endorse each group/organisation’s operational governance.
Please see the National and State Services pages.
Please see the ‘Mental Health’ sections listed on the National and State Services pages.
Further information on AADC Deficiency can be found at:
- Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center. Aromatic L-amino Acid Decarboxylase Deficiency. Accessed May 12, 2022. https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/770/aromatic-l-amino-acid-decarboxylase-deficiency
- Wassenberg T, Molero-Luis M, Jeltsch K, Hoffmann G, Assmann B, Blau N et al. Consensus guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency. Orphanet. J. Rare Dis. [Internet]. 2017; 12:12. Available from: https://ojrd.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s13023-016-0522-z?site=ojrd.biomedcentral.com.
- Autosomal Recessive Inheritance Factsheet. 2020. The Centre for Genetics Education. 6 p. Available from: https://www.genetics.edu.au/publications-and-resources/facts-sheets/fact-sheet-7-autosomal-recessive-inheritance
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