University of Utah scientist Dr. Clement Chow identified and recently presented a dietary strategy for boosting survival in NGLY1-deficient fruit flies at the annual meeting for the American Society for Human Genetics (ASHG).  Hypothesizing that an absence of the enzyme NGLY1 (which deglycosylates N-linked glycoproteins) could lead to a shortage of N-Acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), Dr. Chow treated the flies with NAG from early development.  When treated with the compound, survival rates rose from 25% to nearly 70% to 80%.

Dr. Chow is currently identifying the exact mechanism of rescue with GlcNAc, and while further research is now warranted, it is possible that GlcNAc could be some day be a treatment for patients with NGLY1 deficiency as well.