RATIONALE: Loss-of-function (LoF) mutations in GRIN2B result in neurologic abnormalities due to N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dysfunction. Affected persons present with various symptoms, including intellectual developmental disability (IDD), hypotonia, communication deficits, motor impairment, complex behavior, seizures, sleep disorders and gastrointestinal disturbance. Recently, in vitro experiments showed that D-serine mitigates function to GluN2B (mutation)-containing NMDARs. 11 previous case reports are published on (experimental) L-serine treatment of patients between 1.5 and 12 years old with GRIN2B missense or null mutations, some of whom showed notable improvement in motor and cognitive performance, communication, behavior and abnormalities on electro encephalography (EEG). Our objective is to further evaluate the effectiveness of L-serine for GRIN2B-related neurodevelopmental disorder ( GRIN2B-NDD), using an n-of-1 trial design, increasing the level of evidence.

METHODS/DESIGN: These n-of-1 trials, consisting of 2 cycles of 6 months, will be performed to evaluate the effect of L-serine compared to placebo in 4 patients with a GRIN2B LoF mutation. The aggregation of multiple n-of-1 trials will provide an estimate of the average treatment effects.The primary outcome is the Perceive-Recall-Plan-Perform of Task Analysis, assessing developmental skills. Secondary outcomes include Goal Attainment Scaling, seizure log books, EEGs, sleep log books, the irritability subscale of the Aberrant Behavior Checklist, the Bristol Stool Scale and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory.

CONCLUSION: This study employs an innovative methodological approach to evaluate the effectiveness of L-serine for patients with a GRIN2B LoF mutation. The results will establish a foundation for implementing L-serine as a disease-modifying treatment in GRIN2B-NDD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101233
Pages (from-to)101233
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials Communications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • GRIN2B
  • Intellectual developmental disability
  • L-serine
  • N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor
  • Personalized medicine
  • n-of-1

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