A 29 year old woman is described with severe hyperemesis gravidarum, atypical migraine, numerous admissions to hospital for psychiatric illness, non-epileptic seizures, and valproate-induced coma. Metabolic studies and measurement of [9,10(n)-3H]palmitate oxidation by cultured fibroblasts suggested a multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenation disorder. Treatment with riboflavin abolished headaches and abnormal behaviour and normalised the plasma free carnitine level. Subtle defects in mitochondrial beta oxidation may be a treatable cause of disordered behaviour in adults.
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