Valinemia is a very rare metabolic disorder. It is characterized by elevated levels of the amino acid valine in the blood and urine caused by a deficiency of the enzyme valine transaminase. This enzyme is needed in the breakdown (metabolism) of valine. Infants with valinemia usually have a lack of appetite, vomit frequently, and fail to thrive. Low muscle tone (hypotonia) and hyperactivity also occur.
The breakdown of valine involves at least seven stages and a deficiency of the appropriate enzyme at any of these stages leads to a disorder of varying severity and rarity.
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