Journal of Pediatric Epilepsy 2022; 11(04): 117-124
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1757447
Case Report

Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Transaminase (GABA-T) Deficiency in a Consanguineous Saudi Family: A Case Report and Literature Review

1   Department of Paediatrics, Neurology Division, College of Medicine, King Saud University, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
› Author Affiliations
Funding This work was supported by the College of Medicine, Research Center, Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University.


Gamma-aminobutyric acid transaminase (GABA-T) deficiency is a rare, autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the 4-aminobutyrate aminotransferase (ABAT) gene, which encodes an enzyme involved in GABA catabolism. It is characterized by severe psychomotor retardation, early-onset epileptic encephalopathy, intractable seizures, hypotonia, hyperreflexia, movement disorder, hypersomnolence, and early childhood mortality. It is associated with elevated free GABA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), GABA-T deficiency in cultured lymphoblasts, hypomyelination on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and elevated GABA level in the basal ganglia on proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Only 14 cases have been published in the literature. A rare case of infantile epileptic encephalopathy caused by GABA-T deficiency resulting from a previously unreported homozygous missense mutation in the ABAT gene is described. Our findings add to the phenotypic, neuroradiological, and genetic spectrum of ABAT mutations.

Ethical Approval

Written informed consent for the publication of this case report was obtained from the parents of the patient. The author declares that ethical approval was not required for this case report.

Publication History

Received: 30 January 2022

Accepted: 29 August 2022

Article published online:
28 October 2022

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