Rolandic epilepsy (RE) is the most common idiopathic focal childhood epilepsy. Its molecular basis is largely unknown and a complex genetic etiology is assumed in the majority of affected individuals. The present study tested whether six large recurrent copy number variants at 1q21, 15q11.2, 15q13.3, 16p11.2, 16p13.11 and 22q11.2 previously associated with neurodevelopmental disorders also increase risk of RE. Our association analyses revealed a significant excess of the 600 kb genomic duplication at the 16p11.2 locus (chr16: 29.5-30.1 Mb) in 393 unrelated patients with typical (n = 339) and atypical (ARE; n = 54) RE compared with the prevalence in 65 046 European population controls (5/393 cases versus 32/65 046 controls; Fisher's exact test P = 2.83 × 10(-6), odds ratio = 26.2, 95% confidence interval: 7.9-68.2). In contrast, the 16p11.2 duplication was not detected in 1738 European epilepsy patients with either temporal lobe epilepsy (n = 330) and genetic generalized epilepsies (n = 1408), suggesting a selective enrichment of the 16p11.2 duplication in idiopathic focal childhood epilepsies (Fisher's exact test P = 2.1 × 10(-4)). In a subsequent screen among children carrying the 16p11.2 600 kb rearrangement we identified three patients with RE-spectrum epilepsies in 117 duplication carriers (2.6%) but none in 202 carriers of the reciprocal deletion. Our results suggest that the 16p11.2 duplication represents a significant genetic risk factor for typical and atypical RE.
Rolandic epilepsy (RE) and its atypical variants (atypical rolandic epilepsy, ARE) along the spectrum of epilepsy-aphasia disorders are characterized by a strong but largely unknown genetic basis. Two genes with a putative (ELP4) or a proven (SRPX2) function in neuronal migration were postulated to confer susceptibility to parts of the disease spectrum: the ELP4 gene to centrotemporal spikes and SRPX2 to ARE. To reexamine these findings, we investigated a cohort of 280 patients of European ancestry with RE/ARE for the etiological contribution of these genes and their close interaction partners. We performed next-generation sequencing and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-array based genotyping to screen for sequence and structural variants. In comparison to European controls we could not detect an enrichment of rare deleterious variants of ELP4, SRPX2, or their interaction partners in affected individuals. The previously described functional p.N327S variant in the X chromosomal SRPX2 gene was detected in two affected individuals (0.81%) and also in controls (0.26%), with some preponderance of male patients. We did not detect an association of SNPs in the ELP4 gene with centrotemporal spikes as previously reported. In conclusion our data do not support a major role of ELP4 and SRPX2 in the etiology of RE/ARE.
Fragile X syndrome characterized by intellectual disability (ID), facial dysmorphism, and postpubertal macroorchidism is the most common monogenic cause of ID. It is typically induced by an expansion of a CGG repeat in the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene on Xq27 to more than 200 repeats. Only rarely patients have atypical mutations in the FMR1 gene such as point mutations, deletions, or unmethylated/partially methylated full mutations. Most of these patients show a minor phenotype or even appear clinically healthy. Here, we report the dysmorphism and clinical features of a 17-year-old boy with a partially methylated full mutation of approximately 250 repeats. Diagnosis was made subsequently to the evaluation of a FMR1 premutation as the cause for maternal premature ovarian failure. Dysmorphic evaluation revealed no strikingly long face, no prominent forehead/frontal bossing, no prominent mandible, no macroorchidism, and a head circumference in the lower normal range. Acquisition of a driving license for mopeds and unaccompanied rides by public transport in his home province indicate rather mild ID (IQ?=?58).
Recent studies reported DEPDC5 loss-of-function mutations in different focal epilepsy syndromes. Here we identified 1 predicted truncation and 2 missense mutations in 3 children with rolandic epilepsy (3 of 207). In addition, we identified 3 families with unclassified focal childhood epilepsies carrying predicted truncating DEPDC5 mutations (3 of 82). The detected variants were all novel, inherited, and present in all tested affected (n=11) and in 7 unaffected family members, indicating low penetrance. Our findings extend the phenotypic spectrum associated with mutations in DEPDC5 and suggest that rolandic epilepsy, albeit rarely, and other nonlesional childhood epilepsies are among the associated syndromes.
?Although previous studies suggest that valproate (VPA) may induce reproductive endocrine disorders, the effects of newer antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) on reproductive endocrine health have not been widely investigated and compared with those of older AEDs. Therefore, this multicenter cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of reproductive endocrine dysfunctions in pubertal females with epilepsy receiving VPA, lamotrigine (LTG), or levetiracetam (LEV) monotherapy.
By merging neuropsychological (CANTAB/cambridge neuropsychological test automated battery) and structural brain imaging data (voxel-based-morphometry) the present study sought to identify the neurocognitive correlates of executive functions in individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS) compared to healthy controls. Results disclosed subtle group differences regarding response speed on only one CANTAB subtest that is thought to tap fronto-executive network functions (SWM/spatial working memory). Across all participants, SWM performance was significantly associated with two brain regions (precentral gyrus white matter, precuneus grey matter), thus suggesting a close link between fronto-executive functions (SWM) and circumscribed fronto-parietal brain structures. Finally, symptom severity (ADOS total score) was best predicted by response speed on a set-shifting task (IES) thought to tap fronto-striatal functions (corrected R2 56%).
This is a report on the successful treatment of a 6-year-old girl with genetically proven glucose transporter type 1 deficiency syndrome (GLUT1-DS) with modified Atkins diet (MAD). GLUT1-DS is an inborn disorder of glucose transport across the blood-brain barrier, which leads to energy deficiency of the brain with a broad spectrum of neurological symptoms including therapy-resistant epilepsy. Usually classical ketogenic diet (KD) is the standard treatment for patients with GLUT1-DS. Treatment with MAD, a variant of KD, for an observation period of 17 months resulted in improvement of seizures, alertness, cognitive abilities, and electroencephalography in this patient.
Idiopathic focal epilepsy (IFE) with rolandic spikes is the most common childhood epilepsy, comprising a phenotypic spectrum from rolandic epilepsy (also benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes, BECTS) to atypical benign partial epilepsy (ABPE), Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) and epileptic encephalopathy with continuous spike and waves during slow-wave sleep (CSWS). The genetic basis is largely unknown. We detected new heterozygous mutations in GRIN2A in 27 of 359 affected individuals from 2 independent cohorts with IFE (7.5%; P = 4.83 × 10(-18), Fishers exact test). Mutations occurred significantly more frequently in the more severe phenotypes, with mutation detection rates ranging from 12/245 (4.9%) in individuals with BECTS to 9/51 (17.6%) in individuals with CSWS (P = 0.009, Cochran-Armitage test for trend). In addition, exon-disrupting microdeletions were found in 3 of 286 individuals (1.0%; P = 0.004, Fishers exact test). These results establish alterations of the gene encoding the NMDA receptor NR2A subunit as a major genetic risk factor for IFE.
Loss-of-function mutations in several different neuronal pathways have been related to intellectual disability (ID). Such mutations often are found on the X chromosome in males since they result in functional null alleles. So far, microdeletions at Xq24 reported in males always have been associated with a syndromic form of ID due to the loss of UBE2A. Here, we report on overlapping microdeletions at Xq24 that do not include UBE2A or affect its expression, in patients with non-syndromic ID plus some additional features from three unrelated families. The smallest region of overlap, confirmed by junction sequencing, harbors two members of the mitochondrial solute carrier family 25, SLC25A5 and SLC25A43. However, identification of an intragenic microdeletion including SLC25A43 but not SLC25A5 in a healthy boy excluded a role for SLC25A43 in cognition. Therefore, our findings point to SLC25A5 as a novel gene for non-syndromic ID. This highly conserved gene is expressed ubiquitously with high levels in cortex and hippocampus, and a presumed role in mitochondrial exchange of ADP/ATP. Our data indicate that SLC25A5 is involved in memory formation or establishment, which could add mitochondrial processes to the wide array of pathways that regulate normal cognitive functions.
Midbrain-hindbrain malformations (MHM) may coexist with malformations of cortical development (MCD). This study represents a first attempt to investigate the spectrum of MHM in a large series of patients with MCD and epilepsy. We aimed to explore specific associations between MCD and MHM and to compare two groups of patients: MCD with MHM (wMHM) and MCD without MHM (w/oMHM) with regard to clinical and imaging features. Two hundred and twenty patients (116 women/104 men, median age 28 years, interquartile range 20-44 years at the time of assessment) with MCD and epilepsy were identified at the Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria. All underwent high-resolution MRIs (1.5-T) between 01.01.2002 and 31.12.2011. Midbrain-hindbrain structures were visually assessed by three independent raters. MHM were seen in 17% (38/220) of patients. The rate of patients wMHM and w/oMHM differed significantly (p=0.004) in three categories of MCD (category I - to abnormal neuronal proliferation; category II - to abnormal neuronal migration; and category III - due to abnormal neuronal late migration/organization): MCD due to abnormal neuronal migration (31%) and organization (23%) were more commonly associated with MHM compared to those with MCD due to abnormal neuronal proliferation (9%). Extensive bilateral MCD were seen more often in patients wMHM compared to those w/oMHM (63% vs. 36%; p=0.004). In wMHM group compared to w/oMHM group there were higher rates of callosal dysgenesis (26% vs. 4%; p<0.001) and hippocampal abnormalities (52% vs. 27%; p<0.001). Patients wMHM were younger (median 25 years vs. 30 years; p=0.010) at the time of assessment and had seizure onset at an earlier age (median 5 years vs. 12 years; p=0.043) compared to those w/oMHM. Patients wMHM had higher rates of learning disability (71% vs. 38%; p<0.001), delayed developmental milestones (68% vs. 35%; p<0.001) and neurological deficits (66% vs. 47%; p=0.049) compared to those w/oMHM. The groups (wMHM and w/oMHM) did not differ in their response to antiepileptic treatment, seizure outcome, seizure types, EEG abnormalities and rate of status epilepticus. Presence of MHM in patients with MCD and epilepsy is associated with severe morphological and clinical phenotypes.
Most balanced chromosomal aberrations are not associated with a clinical phenotype, however, in some patients they may disrupt gene structure. With the development of various next-generation sequencing techniques, fast and specific analyses of the breakpoint regions of chromosomal rearrangements are possible. Here, we report on a 19-year-old woman with a de novo balanced translocation t(2;8)(p13.2;q22.1) and a severe clinical phenotype including intellectual disability, epilepsy, behavioral features resembling autism, and minor dysmorphic features. By next-generation sequencing, we defined the breakpoints and found disruption of the exocyst complex component 6B (EXOC6B) gene in intron 1 on chromosome 2p13.2 involving two Alu elements with a homology of 81%. No gene was found at the respective breakpoint on chromosome 8. Expression analysis of the EXOC6B in blood lymphocytes and buccal smear revealed reduced expression in the patient in comparison with the control. Our findings in combination with one recently published case and one other patient listed in DECIPHER v5.1 indicate EXOC6B as a gene relevant for intellectual development and electrophysiological stability.
This is the first investigation of MMPs in children with febrile seizures. In a prospective, cross sectional study, serum levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP8/9), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP1/2), of children with FS (n=13), children with febrile infection (FI, n=13) and children with unprovoked generalized seizures (US, n=11) were compared. Neither provoked nor unprovoked seizures in FS and US seem to elevate levels of MMPs or TIMPs, whereas in case of febrile infection blood level of MMP8 was significant elevated. Seizures in general might have no influence on this distinctive inflammatory process or even might have suppressive impact.
Dravet syndrome is a severe epileptic encephalopathy starting in the first year of life. Mutations in SCN1A can be identified in the majority of patients, and epileptic seizures in the setting of fever are a clinical hallmark. Fever is also commonly seen after vaccinations and provocation of epileptic seizures by vaccinations in patients with Dravet syndrome has been reported, but not systematically assessed. In a retrospective evaluation of 70 patients with Dravet syndrome and SCN1A mutations, seizures following vaccinations were reported in 27%. In 58% of these patients vaccination-related seizures represented the first clinical manifestation. The majority of seizures occurred after DPT vaccinations and within 72 h after vaccination. Two-thirds of events occurred in the context of fever. Our findings highlight seizures after vaccinations as a common feature in Dravet syndrome and emphasize the need for preventive measures for seizures triggered by vaccination or fever in these children.
Vagus nerve stimulation has become widely used in the palliative treatment of refractory epilepsy. Removal of a vagus nerve stimulator may be desirable or even necessary due to lack of efficacy, intolerable side effects, signs of infection, or failure of the device. Unless the lead or the helical electrodes are defective, only the generator is explanted and the electrodes are usually left behind for fear of damaging nerve or surrounding structures. The authors review their experience with complete removal of the stimulating electrodes and pacemaker-like generator device in 9 consecutive patients, 3 of whom were children. Using microsurgical techniques, the authors were able to completely remove the stimulator, including electrodes in all patients. All nerves remained morphologically intact. One case of temporary and one of permanent clinically silent ipsilateral vocal cord paresis were observed.
Recently, we published the first postmarketing European experience with rufinamide (RUF) in a retrospective 12-week observational study. This follow-up report summarizes the long-term effectiveness and tolerability of RUF after 18 months for the same patient sample.
The objective of this study was to investigate which attentional components are of predictive utility in differentiating children with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, combined type (ADHD-C) from their peers without ADHD.
Ludwig Haberlandt (1 February 1885 - 22 July 1932), pioneer in hormonal contraception, was born in Graz, where he graduated from the university in 1909 in medicine summa cum laude and began his career as a physiologist. The idea of temporary hormonal contraception in the female body entered his mind in February 1919, when he was already Professor of Physiology in Innsbruck. He pursued his project ambitiously and by 1921 demonstrated temporary hormonal contraception in a female animal by transplanting ovaries from a second, pregnant, animal. From 1923, after further successful scientific work in this field, he began highlighting the importance of clinical trials in presentations. From then, he was criticized by his colleagues, who accused him of hindering unborn life. His idea was contradictory to the moral, ethic, religious and political agendas of that time in Europe. In 1927 official reports escalated, his family was ostracized by the local population, and Ludwig Haberlandt refused any further interviews. Against all opposition, in 1930 he began clinical trials after successful production of a hormonal preparation, Infecundin, by the G. Richter Company in Budapest, Hungary. Although at the peak of his scientific career, he was unable to pursue other scientific agendas because of the disputed contraception project. After he committed suicide, on 22 July 1932, scientific discussion about hormonal contraception ceased until 1970 when scientists began referring to his earlier medical and scientific work.
The influence of levetiracetam (LEV) and valproic acid (VPA) monotherapy on sex-steroid hormone profile was investigated in thirty prepubertal children. VPA-treated children showed greatest androstendione concentrations when compared to LEV treated children (p=0.016) and to controls (p=0.011). All other reproductive endocrine hormones were similar among groups. In conclusion, LEV does not seem to induce changes in reproductive endocrine functions as well as clinically relevant endocrine side effects in prepubertal children.
The objective of the study is to analyze plasma amino acid concentrations in propionic acidemia (PA) for the purpose of elucidating possible correlations between propionyl-CoA carboxylase deficiency and distinct amino acid behavior. Plasma concentrations of 19 amino acids were measured in 240 random samples from 11 patients (6 families) with enzymatically and/or genetically proven propionic acidemia (sampling period, January 2001-December 2007). They were compared with reference values from the literature and correlated with age using the Pearson correlation coefficient test. Decreased plasma concentrations were observed for glutamine, histidine, threonine, valine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine and arginine. Levels of glycine, alanine and aspartate were elevated, while values of serine, asparagine, ornithine and glutamate were normal. For lysine, proline and methionine a clear association was not possible. Significant correlations with age were observed for 13 amino acids (positive correlation: asparagine, glutamine, proline, alanine, histidine, threonine, methionine, arginine; negative correlation: leucine, phenylalanine, ornithine, glutamate and aspartate). This study gives new insight over long-term changes in plasma amino acid concentrations and may provide options for future therapies (e.g., substitution of anaplerotic substances) in PA patients.
The cardio-neuro-endocrine axis seems to be involved in the cascade of postictal events in children. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between childhood epilepsy and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or serum concentrations of the N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) interictally.
The aim of the study was to explore the effectiveness and tolerability of rufinamide in a heterogeneous group of patients with refractory epilepsies in Europe, immediately after the drug became available as an orphan drug for the adjunctive treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).
Exact breakpoint determination by DNA-array has dramatically improved the analysis of genotype-phenotype correlations in chromosome aberrations. It allows a more exact definition of the most relevant genes and particularly their isolated or combined impact on the phenotype in an unbalanced state. Here, we report on a 21-year-old female with severe growth retardation, severe intellectual disability, hypoplasia of the corpus callosum, unilateral sacral hypoplasia, tethered cord, various minor facial dysmorphisms, and a telomeric deletion of about 4.4?Mb in 7q36.2->qter combined with a telomeric duplication of about 8?Mb in 17pter->p13.1. Fine mapping was achieved with the Illumina® Infinium HumanOmni1-Quad v1.0 BeadChip. Most of the major clinical features correspond to the well-known effects of haploinsufficiency of the MNX1 and SHH genes. In addition, review of the literature suggests an association of the 17p duplication with specific facial dysmorphic features and skeletal anomalies, but also an aggravating effect of the duplication-deletion for severe growth retardation as well as sacral and corpus callosum hypoplasia by one or more genes located on the proximal half of the segmental 17p duplication could be elaborated by comparison with other patients from the literature carrying either the deletion or the duplication found in our patient.
Progressive myoclonic epilepsy (PME) is a heterogeneous group of epilepsies characterized by myoclonus, seizures and progressive neurological symptoms. The index patient was a 6-year old boy showing early-onset therapy resistant PME and severe developmental delay. Genome-wide linkage analysis identified several candidate regions. The potassium channel tetramerization domain containing 7 gene (KCTD7) in the 7q11.21 linkage region emerged as a suitable candidate. Sequence analysis revealed a novel homozygous missense mutation (p.R94W) in a highly conserved segment of exon 2. This is the second family with PME caused by KCTD7 mutations, hence KCTD7 mutations might be a recurrent cause of PME.
Deletions of the short arm of chromosome 19 are rarely found by conventional cytogenetic techniques. This region has a high gene density and this is likely the reason why deletions in this region are associated with a severe phenotype. Since the implementation of modern high-resolution SNP- and CGH-array techniques more cases have been reported. Here, we present an almost 5-year-old boy with intellectual disability, minor dysmorphisms, febrile seizures, and a de novo deletion of 834.2 kb on 19p13.2 encompassing 32 genes. The deletion was found by the Illumina Infinium HD Human1M-Duo v1 BeadChip SNP-array and confirmed by the NimbleGen Human CGH 2.1M Whole Genome Tiling v2.0D oligonucleotide array. PCR amplification of the junction fragment and subsequent sequencing defined the breakpoints and indicated that formation was mediated by non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR). The phenotype of our patient shows that microrearrangements even at gene-dense chromosomes may result in mild clinical consequences.
Citrullinemia is a urea cycle disorder caused by deficiency of argininosuccinate synthetase. Late onset forms can remain undiscovered until a decompensation that can resemble encephalitis. Herein, we report a 14-year old patient with suspected encephalitis with fluctuating episodes of confusion. EEG mainly showed bilateral slowing with some spikes plus spike waves; and was interpreted as suspicious for encephalitis. Brain MRI was normal. Leukocytes in CSF were slightly elevated. Treatment for a CNS infectious disease was begun. Symptoms did not resolve and there were several episodes of confusion, so a repeat lumbar puncture was performed according to a standardized protocol including an amino acid profile. An elevation of citrulline in CSF was found, which ultimately led to the diagnosis of a late onset citrullinemia. The establishment of this diagnosis will protect the patient from the sequelae of unrecognized and thus untreated episodes of hyperammonemia. Thus, following a standardized lumbar puncture protocol can be essential to detect patients with otherwise unrecognized underlying metabolic disorders that are not suspected because of clinical symptoms. In addition, it is important to stress that an ammonia concentration should be determined in any patient with neurological signs like confusion.
We report a retrospective analysis of bromide therapy in 32 patients suffering from Dravet syndrome with SCN1A-mutations who received bromide. After 3 months of bromide treatment, 26 patients (81%) showed a relevant improvement with a reduction of seizure frequency by >50% (>75%) in 18 (12) patients (56 and 37%, respectively). After 12 months, we observed a reduction of >50% (>75%) in 15 (9) patients (47 and 28%, respectively). Long-term response was noted in 18 patients (56%). Adverse reactions were mainly mild or moderate leading to treatment termination in 5/32 patients; no aggravation was reported. We conclude that bromide holds promise in patients with SCN1A-mutations suffering from Dravet syndrome.
Kohlschütter-Tönz syndrome (KTS) is an autosomal-recessive disease characterized by the combination of epilepsy, psychomotor regression, and amelogenesis imperfecta. The molecular basis has not yet been elucidated. Here, we report that KTS is caused by mutations in ROGDI. Using a combination of autozygosity mapping and exome sequencing, we identified a homozygous frameshift deletion, c.229_230del (p.Leu77Alafs(?)64), in ROGDI in two affected individuals from a consanguineous family. Molecular studies in two additional KTS-affected individuals from two unrelated Austrian and Swiss families revealed homozygosity for nonsense mutation c.286C>T (p.Gln96(?)) and compound heterozygosity for the splice-site mutations c.531+5G>C and c.532-2A>T in ROGDI, respectively. The latter mutation was also found to be heterozygous in the mother of the Swiss affected individual in whom KTS was reported for the first time in 1974. ROGDI is highly expressed throughout the brain and other organs, but its function is largely unknown. Possible interactions with DISC1, a protein involved in diverse cytoskeletal functions, have been suggested. Our finding that ROGDI mutations cause KTS indicates that the protein product of this gene plays an important role in neuronal development as well as amelogenesis.
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