A New Perspective on Energy Production in PDE

October 12, 2023

This article is based on a recent publication titled: Is impaired energy production a novel insight into the pathogenesis of pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy due to biallelic variants in ALDH7A1? Please find the original article here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8425566/

What is PDE?

PDE is a rare form of epilepsy that doesn’t respond well to standard anti-seizure medications but improves with a special form of Vitamin B6 called pyridoxine. The condition is caused by specific genetic variants and is often characterized by seizures, developmental delays, and cognitive issues.

The New Findings

The study looked at how PDE affects energy production in the body. Researchers examined both human patients and a zebrafish model with PDE. They found that energy production pathways were impaired in both. Specifically, they observed issues with the electron transport chain, a crucial component in the body’s energy production system.

Why Does This Matter?

Understanding that PDE affects energy production opens up new avenues for treatment. The study suggests that the condition not only disrupts neurotransmitter balance but also impacts the body’s ability to produce energy. This could be a key factor in the severity of the disease and its symptoms.

The Role of Glutamate

The study also found elevated levels of glutamate, a neurotransmitter, in the central nervous system of human patients with PDE. This could be another piece of the puzzle, as glutamate toxicity might play a role in the disease’s severity.

What’s Next?

These findings could pave the way for new treatments that target not just the symptoms but the underlying issues affecting energy production. It also opens up the possibility of using existing medications that regulate energy production pathways as a part of PDE treatment.


This study offers a fresh perspective on PDE, moving beyond symptom management to understanding the underlying issues. While more research is needed, these insights bring hope for more effective treatments in the future. If you’re dealing with PDE, staying updated on the latest research can empower you to have more informed discussions with your healthcare provider.

Note: Always consult with your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment options suitable for you.

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