Further evidence of genetic heterogeneity in families with autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy
ABSTRACT Mutations in the genes encoding the alfa(2), alfa(4) and beta(2) subunits of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) play a causative role in autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (ADNFLE). Moreover, variations in the promoter of the corticotropic-releasing hormone gene (CRH) were also associated with ADNFLE. Here, we investigated whether nine brain-expressed genes (CHRNA2, CHRNA3, CHRNA4, CHRNA5, CHRNA6, CHRNA7, CHRNB2, CHRNB3, CHRNB4), encoding distinct nAChR subunits, and CRH are associated with the disease in three distinct ADNFLE families from Southern Italy.
There were 14 living affected individuals (9 women), ranging in age from 14 to 57 years, pertaining to three unrelated families. Age at onset of seizures clustered around 9 years of age (range from 7 and 16 years, mean: 9.1 years+/-3.8). All affected individuals manifested nocturnal partial seizures of frontal lobe origin, which were well controlled by medications. Exon 5 of CHRNA4 and CHRNB2 genes, harboring all the known mutations, was sequenced in the probands. Then, we performed a linkage study on 13 affected and 26 non-affected individuals belonging to the three families with microsatellite markers and an intragenic polymorphisms encompassing the chromosome localization of the nAChR subunit genes and of the CRH gene.
Mutational and linkage analyses allowed us to exclude the involvement of all known nAChR subunit genes and of the CRH gene in ADNFLE in our families.
Our results further illustrate the considerable genetic heterogeneity for such a syndrome, despite the quite homogeneous clinical picture. It is therefore reasonable to hypothesize that at least another gene not belonging to the nAChR gene family, in addition to CRH, is involved in the pathogenesis of ADNFLE.
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ABSTRACT: The beneficial effect of nicotine has been reported in autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (ADNFLE) patients, but not tested in sporadic cases. Recently, a nicotine defect in the arousal pathway has been hypothesized even in sporadic NFLE patients and their relatives. This case-control family study was designed to test whether NFLE subjects were more likely to use tobacco than controls, as an indirect marker of cholinergic arousal system dysregulation. At least four relatives were included for each NFLE proband and control. Each subject was questioned about tobacco habits; 434 individuals were recruited. Moreover, we compared NFLE patients with age- and sex-matched controls to determine whether they are more likely to use tobacco. We found a slightly higher trend of tobacco use in NFLE probands compared to that in control subjects; we did not find any significant difference in the distribution of tobacco use among NFLE group compared to that in the control group.Epilepsy & Behavior 12/2012; 26(1). DOI:10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.10.014 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Paroxysmal hypnogenic dyskinesia is a rare clinical entity characterized by intermittent dystonia and choreoathetoid movements that begin exclusively during sleep, often with consciousness preserved once the patient is awakened during the episodes. They occur almost every night and are often misdiagnosed as sleeping disorders. Paroxysmal hypnogenic dyskinesia is currently known to be a form of frontal lobe epilepsy, but not in all cases. We present a 19-year-old male patient with paroxysmal hypnogenic dyskinesia who responded to antihistamines. This supports an alternative theory from 1977 (before the cases had been adequately described) that the disorder lies in dysregulation in the basal ganglia. This description now appears similar to acute dystonic reactions such as extrapyramidal symptoms from antipsychotic medications, which also respond to antihistamines.07/2012; 2012:484689. DOI:10.1155/2012/484689
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ABSTRACT: Nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (NFLE) is characterized by seizures with complex, often bizarre, violent behaviour arising only or mainly during sleep. These unusual seizures and their occurrence during sleep are often accompanied by normal EEG tracings and neuroradiological findings, making it difficult to distinguish NFLE seizures from other non-epileptic nocturnal paroxysmal events, namely parasomnias. NFLE was described for the first time in 1981, but, as its epileptic origin was controversial, the condition was called nocturnal paroxysmal dystonia. Even though many aspects of parasomnias and NFLE have been clarified in the last two decades, the problem of differential diagnosis remains a challenge for clinicians. This paper discusses some controversial points still under debate. The difficulties in distinguishing nocturnal epileptic seizures from parasomnias reflect just one aspect of the intriguing issue of the pathophysiological relationships between all types of paroxysmal motor behaviours during sleep.Sleep Medicine 12/2011; 12 Suppl 2:S27-32. DOI:10.1016/j.sleep.2011.10.008 · 3.10 Impact Factor