Autosomal recessive progressive myoclonus epilepsy with ataxia and mental retardation.
ABSTRACT We describe two couples of sibs from a southern Italian family affected by epilepsy, myoclonus, mental retardation and slight ataxia. Onset was between 4 and 12 years and the course slowly progressive. The clinical picture suggested the diagnosis of Unverricht-Lundborg disease. Molecular study excluded linkage to EPM1. Other possible causes of progressive myoclonus epilepsy were also excluded.
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ABSTRACT: Unverricht-Lundborg disease (ULD) is the purest and least severe type of progressive myoclonus epilepsy (PME), and is not associated with progressive cognitive deficit. Symptoms stabilize in adulthood, with a varying degree of permanent, often severe handicap that is mostly due to myoclonus. The disorder follows an autosomal recessive transmission pattern, with onset between 8 and 15 years years of age of generalized tonic-clonic or clonic-tonic-clonic seizures, action myoclonus (massive or segmental), photosensitivity, and often ataxia. Prevalence varies, it is highest in certain isolates (Finland, La Réunion Island) and in region with higher levels of inbreeding (Maghreb). ULD is due to a deficit in cystatin B (stefin B), but the mechanisms leading to the clinical symptoms are not well understood. The causative gene, PME1, was identified in 1991 and localized to chromosome 21q22.3. The mutations are mainly expansions of the CCCCGCCCCGCG dodecamer, but less common point mutations were also found. A variant has been recently reported in a Palestinian family, with localization on chromosome 12. The diagnosis of ULD is made on the basis of family history, age at onset, geographical and ethnic context, and on the typical features of myoclonus and epilepsy, in the absence of cognitive and sensory deficits. Neurophysiological evaluation yields interesting, but unspecific results. There are no biological or pathological markers for ULD. Molecular analysis confirms the diagnosis in most patients. Genetic testing for heterozygotes and even prenatal diagnosis are possible, although seldom performed, if the mutation has been identified. In spite of intensive research, ULD has yet to reveal all of its secrets. It remains a quasi “idiopathic“ type of PME, with limited progression. Clinicians and patients are still waiting for an etiologically oriented treatment, which should, ideally, be admnistered early in the course of the disease, if possible before the onset of invalidating symptoms.Revue Neurologique 09/2006; 162(s 8–9):819–826. · 0.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We report a family of Algerian origin presenting an unusual, severe form of progressive myoclonus epilepsy characterized by myoclonus, generalized tonic-clonic seizures and moderate to severe cognitive impairment, with probable autosomal recessive inheritance. Disease onset was between 6 and 16 years of age. The diagnosis of Unverricht-Lundborg disease and all other known causes of progressive myoclonus epilepsies were excluded by specific laboratory tests and molecular analysis. © 2009 Movement Disorder SocietyMovement Disorders 05/2009; 24(7):1016 - 1022. · 5.63 Impact Factor