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P.O. Box 896
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
The mission of the PKU Challenge is to provide a broad social support system for adults with phenylketonuria (PKU) on a one-on-one basis. This includes encouraging them to get them back on track with the diet, providing help in the areas of insurance, clinic visits, food, and formula coverage and helping to pinpoint other needs. PKU is an inborn error of metabolism that is detectable during the first days of life with appropriate blood testing (e.g., during routine neonatal screening). PKU is characterized by absence or deficiency of an enzyme (phenylalanine hydroxylase) that is responsible for processing the essential amino acid phenylalanine. With normal enzymatic activity, phenylalanine is converted to another amino acid (tyrosine), which is then utilized by the body. However, when the phenylalanine hydroxylase enzyme is absent or deficient, phenylalanine abnormally accumulates in the blood and is toxic to brain tissue.
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