Inborn errors of metabolism are single gene disorders resulting from the defects in the biochemical pathways of the body. Although these disorders are individually rare, collectively they account for a significant portion of childhood disability and deaths. Most of the disorders are inherited as autosomal recessive whereas autosomal dominant and X-linked disorders are also present. The clinical signs and symptoms arise from the accumulation of the toxic substrate, deficiency of the product, or both. Depending on the residual activity of the deficient enzyme, the initiation of the clinical picture may vary starting from the newborn period up until adulthood. Hundreds of disorders have been described until now and there has been a considerable clinical overlap between certain inborn errors. Resulting from this fact, the definite diagnosis of inborn errors depends on enzyme assays or genetic tests. Especially during the recent years, significant achievements have been gained for the biochemical and genetic diagnosis of inborn errors. Techniques such as tandem mass spectrometry and gas chromatography for biochemical diagnosis and microarrays and next-generation sequencing for the genetic diagnosis have enabled rapid and accurate diagnosis. The achievements for the diagnosis also enabled newborn screening and prenatal diagnosis. Parallel to the development the diagnostic methods; significant progress has also been obtained for the treatment. Treatment approaches such as special diets, enzyme replacement therapy, substrate inhibition, and organ transplantation have been widely used. It is obvious that by the help of the preclinical and clinical research carried out for inborn errors, better diagnostic methods and better treatment approaches will high likely be available.
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