Hyper-beta-alaninemia associated with beta-aminoaciduria and gamma-aminobutyricaciduaia, somnolence and seizures.N Engl J Med. 1966 Mar 24; 274(12):635-43.NEJM
Hyper-beta-alaninemia was found in a somnolent, convulsing infant. Hyper-beta-aminoaciduria (beta-ala, betaAIB and taurine) was also observed, varying directly with plasma beta-alanine concentration. The beta-aminoaciduria is explained by the interaction between beta-alanine and a specific cellular-transport system with preference for beta-amino compounds. Gamma-aminobutyricaciduria was also observed, its excretion being independent of beta-alanine levels. Dietary modifications, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and antibiotic therapy were not beneficial. Post-mortem tissues had elevated levels of beta-alanine and carnosine; GABA levels in brain were probably elevated for the age of the patient. A proposed block in beta-alanine-alpha-ketoglutarate transaminase would expand the free beta-alanine pool, thus increasing tissue carnosine. beta-Alanine is a central-nervous-system depressant. Associated inhibition of GABA transaminase and displacement of GABA from central-nervous-system binding sites would produce GABAuria and convulsions.