Shelagh J Smith

UCL Eastman Dental Institute, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (5)19 Total impact

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    Dataset: Epilepsia
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    ABSTRACT: Dravet syndrome is an epilepsy syndrome of infantile onset, frequently caused by SCN1A mutations or deletions. Its prevalence, long-term evolution in adults and neuropathology are not well known. We identified a series of 22 adult patients, including three adult post-mortem cases with Dravet syndrome. For all patients, we reviewed the clinical history, seizure types and frequency, antiepileptic drugs, cognitive, social and functional outcome and results of investigations. A systematic neuropathology study was performed, with post-mortem material from three adult cases with Dravet syndrome, in comparison with controls and a range of relevant paediatric tissue. Twenty-two adults with Dravet syndrome, 10 female, were included, median age 39 years (range 20-66). SCN1A structural variation was found in 60% of the adult Dravet patients tested, including one post-mortem case with DNA extracted from brain tissue. Novel mutations were described for 11 adult patients; one patient had three SCN1A mutations. Features of Dravet syndrome in adulthood include multiple seizure types despite polytherapy, and age-dependent evolution in seizure semiology and electroencephalographic pattern. Fever sensitivity persisted through adulthood in 11 cases. Neurological decline occurred in adulthood with cognitive and motor deterioration. Dysphagia may develop in or after the fourth decade of life, leading to significant morbidity, or death. The correct diagnosis at an older age made an impact at several levels. Treatment changes improved seizure control even after years of drug resistance in all three cases with sufficient follow-up after drug changes were instituted; better control led to significant improvement in cognitive performance and quality of life in adulthood in two cases. There was no histopathological hallmark feature of Dravet syndrome in this series. Strikingly, there was remarkable preservation of neurons and interneurons in the neocortex and hippocampi of Dravet adult post-mortem cases. Our study provides evidence that Dravet syndrome is at least in part an epileptic encephalopathy.
    Brain 06/2011; 134(Pt 10):2982-3010. · 9.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: SCN1A mutations account for a large proportion of Dravet syndrome patients, and are reported in other cases of epilepsy, such as some families with genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+). While most Dravet syndrome cases are caused by de novo mutations, 5% inherit a mutation from a mildly affected or symptom-free parent. Parental mosaicism has been identified, with documented cases involving truncating mutations or gene rearrangements. We describe a Roma/Gypsy family, where a missense mutation in SCN1A, p.D194N, is transmitted from a mosaic GEFS+ father to a child with Dravet syndrome. Mosaicism may be more common than assumed and should be considered regardless of the nature of the mutation.
    Epileptic disorders: international epilepsy journal with videotape 06/2010; 12(2):117-24. · 1.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The restricted genetic diversity and homogeneous molecular basis of Mendelian disorders in isolated founder populations have rarely been explored in epilepsy research. Our long-term goal is to explore the genetic basis of epilepsies in one such population, the Gypsies. The aim of this report is the clinical and genetic characterization of a Gypsy family with a partial epilepsy syndrome. Clinical information was collected using semistructured interviews with affected subjects and informants. At least one interictal electroencephalography (EEG) recording was performed for each patient and previous data obtained from records. Neuroimaging included structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Linkage and haplotype analysis was performed using the Illumina IVb Linkage Panel, supplemented with highly informative microsatellites in linked regions and Affymetrix SNP 5.0 array data. We observed an early-onset partial epilepsy syndrome with seizure semiology strongly suggestive of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), with mild intellectual deficit co-occurring in a large proportion of the patients. Psychiatric morbidity was common in the extended pedigree but did not cosegregate with epilepsy. Linkage analysis definitively excluded previously reported loci, and identified a novel locus on 5q31.3-q32 with an logarithm of the odds (LOD) score of 3 corresponding to the expected maximum in this family. The syndrome can be classified as familial temporal lobe epilepsy (FTLE) or possibly a new syndrome with mild intellectual deficit. The linked 5q region does not contain any ion channel-encoding genes and is thus likely to contribute new knowledge about epilepsy pathogenesis. Identification of the mutation in this family and in additional patients will define the full phenotypic spectrum.
    Epilepsia 04/2009; 50(7):1679-88. · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Since extratemporal clinical features in patients with unilateral hippocampal sclerosis (HS) are likely to indicate aberrant ictal spread or a more extensive epileptogenic zone, we asked whether such features are associated with more severe HS and a worse outcome following temporal lobectomy. We reviewed all patients (174) who had undergone temporal lobectomy for histologically proven unilateral HS related temporal lobe epilepsy between 1997-2005 at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. We divided patients into those with severe HS (side-to-side ratio < 0.6) and those with mild HS (side-to-side ratio > 0.75). We examined all seizures recorded on electroencephalography (EEG) video telemetry in these patients for clinical features of temporal lobe epilepsy. The postsurgical outcome was classified using the Engel classification at the time of follow up (median 4.7 years, range 1-9 years). Patients (28 out 39) with severe HS had atypical features compared to 7 out of 27 in the mild HS [Chi square (chi(2)) test, p = 0.0013]. The mean number of atypical clinical features was 2.2 in the severe HS group and 0.62 in the mild HS group (Mann Whitney U Test, p < 0.001). The percentage of postsurgery seizure freedom (class 1 Engel classification) was 87%, and there was no significant effect of the presence of atypical clinical features. This study shows that atypical (extratemporal) clinical features tend to occur more frequently in patients with severe HS and do not correlate with worse surgical outcome.
    Epilepsia 06/2008; 49(8):1333-9. · 3.96 Impact Factor