We report a consanguineous family with 2 affected individuals whose clinical symptoms closely resembled MERRF (myoclonus epilepsy with ragged red fibers) syndrome including severe myoclonic epilepsy, progressive spastic tetraparesis, progressive impairment of vision and hearing, as well as progressive cognitive decline.
Mutations in SLC2A1, encoding the glucose transporter type 1 (Glut1), cause a wide range of neurological disorders: (1) classical Glut1 deficiency syndrome (Glut1-DS) with an early onset epileptic encephalopathy including a severe epilepsy, psychomotor delay, ataxia and microcephaly, (2) paroxysmal exercise-induced dyskinesia (PED) and (3) various forms of idiopathic/genetic generalized epilepsies such as different forms of absence epilepsies. Up to now, focal epilepsy was not associated with SLC2A1 mutations. Here, we describe four cases in which focal seizures present the main or at least initial category of seizures. Two patients suffered from a classical Glut1-DS, whereas two individuals presented with focal epilepsy related to PED. We identified three novel SLC2A1 mutations in these unrelated individuals. Our study underscores that focal epilepsy can be caused by SLC2A1 mutations or that focal seizures may present the main type of seizures. Patients with focal epilepsy and PED should undergo genetic testing and can benefit from a ketogenic diet. But also individuals with pharmaco-resistant focal epilepsy and cognitive impairment might be candidates for genetic testing in SLC2A1.
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.
Febrile seizures affect 2-4% of all children and have a strong genetic component. Recurrent mutations in three main genes (SCN1A, SCN1B and GABRG2) have been identified that cause febrile seizures with or without epilepsy. Here we report the identification of mutations in STX1B, encoding syntaxin-1B, that are associated with both febrile seizures and epilepsy. Whole-exome sequencing in independent large pedigrees identified cosegregating STX1B mutations predicted to cause an early truncation or an in-frame insertion or deletion. Three additional nonsense or missense mutations and a de novo microdeletion encompassing STX1B were then identified in 449 familial or sporadic cases. Video and local field potential analyses of zebrafish larvae with antisense knockdown of stx1b showed seizure-like behavior and epileptiform discharges that were highly sensitive to increased temperature. Wild-type human syntaxin-1B but not a mutated protein rescued the effects of stx1b knockdown in zebrafish. Our results thus implicate STX1B and the presynaptic release machinery in fever-associated epilepsy syndromes.
Epilepsy comprises several syndromes, amongst the most common being mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis. Seizures in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis are typically drug-resistant, and mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis is frequently associated with important co-morbidities, mandating the search for better understanding and treatment. The cause of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis is unknown, but there is an association with childhood febrile seizures. Several rarer epilepsies featuring febrile seizures are caused by mutations in SCN1A, which encodes a brain-expressed sodium channel subunit targeted by many anti-epileptic drugs. We undertook a genome-wide association study in 1018 people with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis and 7552 control subjects, with validation in an independent sample set comprising 959 people with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis and 3591 control subjects. To dissect out variants related to a history of febrile seizures, we tested cases with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis with (overall n = 757) and without (overall n = 803) a history of febrile seizures. Meta-analysis revealed a genome-wide significant association for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis with febrile seizures at the sodium channel gene cluster on chromosome 2q24.3 [rs7587026, within an intron of the SCN1A gene, P = 3.36 × 10(-9), odds ratio (A) = 1.42, 95% confidence interval: 1.26-1.59]. In a cohort of 172 individuals with febrile seizures, who did not develop epilepsy during prospective follow-up to age 13 years, and 6456 controls, no association was found for rs7587026 and febrile seizures. These findings suggest SCN1A involvement in a common epilepsy syndrome, give new direction to biological understanding of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis with febrile seizures, and open avenues for investigation of prognostic factors and possible prevention of epilepsy in some children with febrile seizures.
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.
The group of the rare progressive myoclonic epilepsies (PME) include a wide spectrum of mitochondrial and metabolic diseases. In juvenile and adult ages, MERRF (myoclonic epilepsy with ragged red fibres) is the most common form. The underlying genetic defect in most patients with the syndrome of MERRF is a mutation in the tRNALys gene, but mutations were also detected in the tRNAPhe gene.
Structural variations disrupting the gene encoding the neuron-specific splicing regulator RBFOX1 have been reported in three patients exhibiting epilepsy in comorbidity with other neuropsychiatric disorders. Consistently, the Rbfox1 knockout mouse model showed an increased susceptibility of seizures. The present candidate gene study tested whether exon-disrupting deletions of RBFOX1 increase the risk of idiopathic generalized epilepsies (IGEs), representing the largest group of genetically determined epilepsies.
Recent studies reported mutations in the gene encoding the proline-rich transmembrane protein 2 (PRRT2) to be causative for paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (PKD), PKD combined with infantile seizures (ICCA), and benign familial infantile seizures (BFIS). PRRT2 is a presynaptic protein which seems to play an important role in exocytosis and neurotransmitter release. PKD is the most common form of paroxysmal movement disorder characterized by recurrent brief involuntary hyperkinesias triggered by sudden movements. Here, we sequenced PRRT2 in 14 sporadic and 8 familial PKD and ICCA cases of Caucasian origin and identified three novel mutations (c.919C>T/p.Gln307, c.388delG/p.Ala130Profs 46, c.884G>A/p.Arg295Gln) predicting two truncated proteins and one probably damaging point mutation. A review of all published cases is also included. PRRT2 mutations occur more frequently in familial forms of PRRT2-related syndromes (80-100 %) than in sporadic cases (33-46 %) suggesting further heterogeneity in the latter. PRRT2 mutations were rarely described in other forms of paroxysmal dyskinesias deviating from classical PKD, as we report here in one ICCA family without kinesigenic triggers. Mutations are exclusively found in two exons of the PRRT2 gene at a high rate across all syndromes and with one major mutation (c.649dupC) in a mutational hotspot of nine cytosines, which is responsible for 57 % of all cases in all phenotypes. We therefore propose that genetic analysis rapidly performed in early stages of the disease is highly cost-effective and can help to avoid further unnecessary diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.
Genetic generalized epilepsies (GGEs) have a lifetime prevalence of 0.3% and account for 20-30% of all epilepsies. Despite their high heritability of 80%, the genetic factors predisposing to GGEs remain elusive. To identify susceptibility variants shared across common GGE syndromes, we carried out a two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) including 3020 patients with GGEs and 3954 controls of European ancestry. To dissect out syndrome-related variants, we also explored two distinct GGE subgroups comprising 1434 patients with genetic absence epilepsies (GAEs) and 1134 patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME). Joint Stage-1 and 2 analyses revealed genome-wide significant associations for GGEs at 2p16.1 (rs13026414, P(meta) = 2.5 × 10(-9), OR[T] = 0.81) and 17q21.32 (rs72823592, P(meta) = 9.3 × 10(-9), OR[A] = 0.77). The search for syndrome-related susceptibility alleles identified significant associations for GAEs at 2q22.3 (rs10496964, P(meta) = 9.1 × 10(-9), OR[T] = 0.68) and at 1q43 for JME (rs12059546, P(meta) = 4.1 × 10(-8), OR[G] = 1.42). Suggestive evidence for an association with GGEs was found in the region 2q24.3 (rs11890028, P(meta) = 4.0 × 10(-6)) nearby the SCN1A gene, which is currently the gene with the largest number of known epilepsy-related mutations. The associated regions harbor high-ranking candidate genes: CHRM3 at 1q43, VRK2 at 2p16.1, ZEB2 at 2q22.3, SCN1A at 2q24.3 and PNPO at 17q21.32. Further replication efforts are necessary to elucidate whether these positional candidate genes contribute to the heritability of the common GGE syndromes.
Mutations in PRRT2 have been described in paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (PKD) and infantile convulsions with choreoathetosis (PKD with infantile seizures), and recently also in some families with benign familial infantile seizures (BFIS) alone. We analyzed PRRT2 in 49 families and three sporadic cases with BFIS only of Italian, German, Turkish, and Japanese origin and identified the previously described mutation c.649dupC in an unstable series of nine cytosines to occur in 39 of our families and one sporadic case (77% of index cases). Furthermore, three novel mutations were found in three other families, whereas 17% of our index cases did not show PRRT2 mutations, including a large family with late-onset BFIS and febrile seizures. Our study further establishes PRRT2 as the major gene for BFIS alone.
Epilepsies have a highly heterogeneous background with a strong genetic contribution. The variety of unspecific and overlapping syndromic and nonsyndromic phenotypes often hampers a clear clinical diagnosis and prevents straightforward genetic testing. Knowing the genetic basis of a patients epilepsy can be valuable not only for diagnosis but also for guiding treatment and estimating recurrence risks.
Genetic generalized epilepsies (GGEs) have a lifetime prevalence of 0.3% with heritability estimates of 80%. A considerable proportion of families with siblings affected by GGEs presumably display an oligogenic inheritance. The present genome-wide linkage meta-analysis aimed to map: (1) susceptibility loci shared by a broad spectrum of GGEs, and (2) seizure type-related genetic factors preferentially predisposing to either typical absence or myoclonic seizures, respectively.
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