Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

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Metabolic disorders

A metabolic disorder is a medical disorder that affects the production of energy within individual human (or animal) cells. Most metabolic disorders are genetic, although a few are "acquired," e.g., as a result of diet, toxins, infections. Genetic metabolic disorders are also known as inborn errors of metabolism. In general, the genetic metabolic disorders are caused by genetic defects that result in missing or improperly constructed enzymes necessary for some step in the metabolic process of the cell.


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