Concept

Hyperammonemia

Summary
Hyperammonemia is a metabolic disturbance characterised by an excess of ammonia in the blood. It is a dangerous condition that may lead to brain injury and death. It may be primary or secondary. Ammonia is a substance that contains nitrogen. It is a product of the catabolism of protein. It is converted to the less toxic substance urea prior to excretion in urine by the kidneys. The metabolic pathways that synthesize urea involve reactions that start in the mitochondria and then move into the cytosol. The process is known as the urea cycle, which comprises several enzymes acting in sequence. It is greatly exacerbated by common zinc deficiency, which raises ammonia levels further. Signs and symptoms Complication Hyperammonemia is one of the metabolic derangements that contribute to hepatic encephalopathy, which can cause swelling of astrocytes and stimulation of NMDA receptors in the brain. Overstimulation of NMDA receptors induces excitotoxicity. Diagnosis
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