Media contacts:
Tia Webster, 404-727-5692,
Kathi Ovnic Baker, 404-727-9371,
Janet Christenbury, 404-727-8599,
September 30, 2002


New Emory Nutrition Facility Serves Metabolic Disorder Patients and Families

Patients with metabolic disorders and their families have a new place to gather for support groups and education sessions, as well as a site where they may purchase special foods for their dietary needs. The Emory Genetics Nutrition Section (EGNS) will open its doors on Tuesday, October 1. The EGNS will serve as a center for formula distribution and a retail store for the low protein foods needed by metabolic patients.

Patients with metabolic disorders such as PKU (phenylketonuria) and MSUD (maple syrup urine disease) must adhere to a strict lifelong low-protein diet. Female patients must be particularly careful to follow specifications before and during pregnancy to prevent mental retardation in their children.

"The Emory Genetics Nutrition Section is an extension of networking and resources for all metabolic patients," says Rani H. Singh, R.D., Ph.D., director of the nutrition section for the pediatrics department. "The facility is not only a place for food purchasing and distribution, but a place where patients can find kindred spirits and families can develop some much-needed camaraderie."

As a biochemical nutritionist, Dr. Singh and her staff, including genetic nutritionist Erica Lesperance, R.D., provide nutrition management to every PKU and MSUD patient in Georgia from birth through childhood. After years of addressing the special needs of afflicted children and their parents, Dr. Singh developed a model, research-based metabolic camp in 1995. The camp is held every summer at Emory for young, female patients.

The Emory Genetics Nutrition Section is located at 2711 Irwin Way, Suite 103, near the Emory Campus. Hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Services are for patients and families with metabolic disorders only. For directions or more information, call Barbara Liabastre at (404) 727-2479.

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