Posted: October 3rd, 2016
A six-week-old baby was taken into intensive care. Pathology results showed the baby was suffering from Hyperammonemia. As a student of Biochemistry use your knowledge to explain the possible causes of the baby’s condition to the anxious parents. Support your explanation by referring to the milk protein diet of the baby particularly focusing on the digestive processes that break down protein into individual amino acids and the metabolic processes required to maintain nitrogen balance within the body (removal of nitrogen waste from the cells). I. Explain the metabolic pathways in amino acid metabolism and nitrogen waste removal from the cells following a protein-rich meal such as milk. II. Briefly describe Hyperammonemia and comment on why the baby has high levels of ammonia in the blood. III. Explain why some trace amounts of nitrogen (from amino acids) from the meal ended up in the baby’s urine.
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