[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Technological advances have paved the way for accelerated genomic discovery and are bringing precision medicine clearly into view. Epilepsy research in particular is well suited to serve as a model for the development and deployment of targeted therapeutics in precision medicine because of the rapidly expanding genetic knowledge base in epilepsy, the availability of good in-vitro and in-vivo model systems to efficiently study the biological consequences of genetic mutations, the ability to turn these models into effective drug-screening platforms, and the establishment of collaborative research groups. Moving forward, it is crucial that these collaborations are strengthened, particularly through integrated research platforms, to provide robust analyses both for accurate personal genome analysis and gene and drug discovery. Similarly, the implementation of clinical trial networks will allow the expansion of patient sample populations with genetically defined epilepsy so that drug discovery can be translated into clinical practice.
No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · The Lancet Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Juvenile neuronal-ceroid-lipofuscinosis (JNCL) is a lysosomal storage disease caused by mutations in CLN3. The most frequent mutation is a 1.02-kb deletion that, when homozygous, causes the classical clinical presentation. Patients harboring different mutations show a marked clinical heterogeneity, including protracted disease course with possible involvement of extraneuronal tissues. Cardiac involvement is relatively rare in JNCL and it is usually due to myocardial storage of ceroid-lipofuscinin. Only recently, histopathological findings of autophagic vacuolar myopathy (AVM) were detected in JNCL patients with severe cardiomyopathy. We describe a 35-year-old male showing a delayed-classic JNCL with visual loss in childhood and neurological manifestations only appearing in adult life. He had an unusual CLN3 genotype with an unreported deletion (p.Ala349_Leu350del) and the known p.His315Glnfs*67 mutation. Autophagic vacuolar myopathy was shown by muscle biopsy. At clinical follow-up, moderately increased CPK levels were detected whereas periodic cardiac assessments have been normal to date. Adult neurologists should be aware of protracted JNCL as cause of progressive neurological decline in adults. The occurrence of autophagic vacuolar myopathy necessitates periodic cardiac surveillance, which is not usually an issue in classic JNCL due to early neurological death.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · European journal of medical genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Photosensitivity is a heritable abnormal cortical response to flickering light, manifesting as particular electroencephalographic changes, with or without seizures. Photosensitivity is prominent in a very rare epileptic encephalopathy due to de novo CHD2 mutations, but is also seen in epileptic encephalopathies due to other gene mutations. We determined whether CHD2 variation underlies photosensitivity in common epilepsies, specific photosensitive epilepsies and individuals with photosensitivity without seizures. We studied 580 individuals with epilepsy and either photosensitive seizures or abnormal photoparoxysmal response on
electroencephalography, or both, and 55 individuals with photoparoxysmal response but no seizures. We compared CHD2 sequence data to publicly available data from 34 427 individuals, not enriched for epilepsy. We investigated the role of unique variants seen only once in the entire data set. We sought CHD2 variants in 238 exomes from familial genetic generalized epilepsies, and in other public exome data sets. We identified 11 unique variants in the 580 individuals with photosensitive epilepsies and 128 unique variants in the 34 427 controls: unique CHD2 variation is over-represented in cases overall (P = 2�17 � 10�5). Among epilepsy syndromes, there was over-representation of unique CHD2 variants (3/36 cases) in the archetypal photosensitive epilepsy syndrome, eyelid myoclonia with absences (P = 3�50 � 10�4). CHD2 variation was not over-represented in photoparoxysmal response without seizures. Zebrafish larvae with chd2 knockdown were tested for photosensitivity. Chd2 knockdown markedly enhanced mild innate zebrafish larval photosensitivity. CHD2 mutation is the first identified cause of the archetypal generalized photosensitive epilepsy syndrome, eyelid myoclonia with absences. Unique CHD2 variants are also associated with photosensitivity in common epilepsies. CHD2 does not encode an ion channel, opening new avenues for research into human cortical excitability.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Although there is increasing recognition of the role of somatic mutations in genetic disorders, the prevalence of somatic mutations in neurodevelopmental disease and the optimal techniques to detect somatic mosaicism have not been systematically evaluated.
Using a customized panel of known and candidate genes associated with brain malformations, we applied targeted high-coverage sequencing (depth, ≥200×) to leukocyte-derived DNA samples from 158 persons with brain malformations, including the double-cortex syndrome (subcortical band heterotopia, 30 persons), polymicrogyria with megalencephaly (20), periventricular nodular heterotopia (61), and pachygyria (47). We validated candidate mutations with the use of Sanger sequencing and, for variants present at unequal read depths, subcloning followed by colony sequencing.
Validated, causal mutations were found in 27 persons (17%; range, 10 to 30% for each phenotype). Mutations were somatic in 8 of the 27 (30%), predominantly in persons with the double-cortex syndrome (in whom we found mutations in DCX and LIS1), persons with periventricular nodular heterotopia (FLNA), and persons with pachygyria (TUBB2B). Of the somatic mutations we detected, 5 (63%) were undetectable with the use of traditional Sanger sequencing but were validated through subcloning and subsequent sequencing of the subcloned DNA. We found potentially causal mutations in the candidate genes DYNC1H1, KIF5C, and other kinesin genes in persons with pachygyria.
Targeted sequencing was found to be useful for detecting somatic mutations in patients with brain malformations. High-coverage sequencing panels provide an important complement to whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing in the evaluation of somatic mutations in neuropsychiatric disease. (Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and others.).
Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · New England Journal of Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a devastating childhood-onset epilepsy syndrome. The cause is unknown in 25% of cases. Little has been described about the specific clinical or electroencephalography (EEG) features of LGS of unknown or genetic cause (LGSu ). The Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP) aims to characterize LGSu by phenotypic analysis of patients with LGSu and their parents.
One hundred thirty-five patients with LGS with no known etiology and their parents were enrolled from 19 EPGP centers in the United States and Australia. Clinical data from medical records, standardized questionnaires, imaging, and EEG were collected with use of online informatics systems developed for EPGP.
LGSu in the EPGP cohort had a broad range of onset of epilepsy from 1 to 13 years, was male predominant (p < 0.0002), and was associated with normal development prior to seizure onset in 59.2% of patients. Despite the diagnosis, almost half of the adult patients with LGSu completed secondary school. Parents were cognitively normal. All subjects had EEG recordings with generalized epileptiform abnormalities with a spike wave frequency range of 1-5 Hz (median 2 Hz), whereas 8.1% of subjects had EEG studies with a normal posterior dominant rhythm. Almost 12% of patients evolved from West syndrome.
LGSu has distinctive characteristics including a broad age range of onset, male predominance, and often normal development prior to the onset of seizures. Cognitive achievements such as completion of secondary school were possible in half of adult patients. Our phenotypic description of LGSu coupled with future genetic studies will advance our understanding of this epilepsy syndrome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background/aims:
Renin processing and storage is believed to occur in lysosome-like structures in the afferent arteriole. SCARB2/Limp-2 is a transmembrane lysosomal protein responsible for the intracellular trafficking of β-glucocerebrosidase. This study aimed to confirm the expression of SCARB2/Limp-2 in renin secretory granules, and explore its role in renin processing and secretion.
Co-localisation studies of (pro)renin with lysosomal membrane proteins, SCARB2/Limp-2, LAMP-1 and LAMP-2, were performed in mouse and human kidney sections. Intrarenal expression and secretion of (pro)renin in wild-type (WT) and Limp-2(-/-) mice were compared with and without stimulation.
SCARB2/Limp-2, LAMP-1 and LAMP-2 co-localised with (pro)- renin in mouse and human kidney. Plasma renin concentration was increased in Limp-2(-/-) mice when compared to WT littermates. No change in (pro)renin expression, however, was observed in Limp-2(-/-) mouse kidney cortex by immunofluorescence microscopy, Western blotting, quantitative RT-PCR or the ultrastructural appearance of renin secretory granules. Acute stimulation of renin release by isoprenaline or hydralazine was similar in WT and Limp-2(-/-) mice. Following chronic salt restriction, however, immunofluorescence microscopy showed less (pro)renin expressed in Limp-2(-/-) compared with WT mouse kidneys, and there was significantly less prorenin but not renin by Western blotting in Limp-2(-/-) mouse kidney cortex, despite no difference in circulating renin levels.
Renin secretory granules possess integral lysosomal proteins, confirming that they are indeed modified lysosomes. Limp-2 deficiency leads to a minor increase in circulating renin. Limp-2, however, is not required for acute or chronic stimulation of renin release.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Bilateral posterior PNH is a distinctive complex malformation with imaging features distinguishing it from classic bilateral PNH associated with FLNA mutations. The purpose of this study was to define the imaging features of posterior bilateral periventricular nodular heterotopia and to determine whether associated brain malformations suggest specific subcategories.MATERIALS AND METHODS:We identified a cohort of 50 patients (31 females; mean age, 13 years) with bilateral posterior PNH and systematically reviewed and documented associated MR imaging abnormalities. Patients were negative for mutations of FLNA.RESULTS:Nodules were often noncontiguous (n = 28) and asymmetric (n = 31). All except 1 patient showed associated developmental brain abnormalities involving a spectrum of posterior structures. A range of posterior fossa abnormalities affected the cerebellum, including cerebellar malformations and posterior fossa cysts (n = 38). Corpus callosum abnormalities (n = 40) ranged from mild dysplasia to agenesis. Posterior white matter volume was decreased (n = 22), and colpocephaly was frequent (n = 26). Most (n = 40) had associated cortical abnormalities ranging from minor to major (polymicrogyria), typically located in the cortex overlying the PNH. Abnormal Sylvian fissure morphology was common (n = 27), and hippocampal abnormalities were frequent (n = 37). Four family cases were identified-2 with concordant malformation patterns and 2 with discordant malformation patterns.CONCLUSIONS:The associations of bilateral posterior PNH encompass a range of abnormalities involving brain structures inferior to the Sylvian fissures. We were unable to identify specific subgroups and therefore conceptualize bilateral posterior PNH as a continuum of infrasylvian malformations involving the posterior cerebral and hindbrain structures.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · American Journal of Neuroradiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Although epilepsy and migraine are known to co-occur within individuals, the contribution of a shared genetic susceptibility to this comorbidity remains unclear. We investigated the hypothesis of shared genetic effects on migraine and epilepsy in the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP) cohort. METHODS: We studied prevalence of a history of migraine in 730 EPGP participants aged ≥12 years with nonacquired focal epilepsy (NAFE) or generalized epilepsy (GE) from 501 families containing two or more individuals with epilepsy of unknown cause. Information on migraine without aura (MO) and migraine with aura (MA) was collected using an instrument validated for individuals ≥12 years. Because many individuals have both MO and MA, we considered two nonoverlapping groups of individuals with migraine: those who met criteria for MA in any of their headaches (MA), and those who did not ("MO-only"). EPGP participants were interviewed about the history of seizure disorders in additional nonenrolled family members. We evaluated associations of migraine prevalence in enrolled subjects with a family history of seizure disorders in additional nonenrolled relatives, using generalized estimating equations to control for the nonindependence of observations within families. KEY FINDINGS: Prevalence of a history of MA (but not MO-only) was significantly increased in enrolled participants with two or more additional affected first-degree relatives. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings support the hypothesis of a shared genetic susceptibility to epilepsy and MA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growing pains (GP) is a prevalent familial childhood disorder of unknown aetiology. Familial occurrence of GP, and individual and familial association of GP with restless legs syndrome (RLS) has been reported.
We applied a twin family design to search for evidence of genetic susceptibility to GP, and for a genetic relationship between GP and RLS. The parents of 1843 twin pairs aged 3-16 years were administered a questionnaire, which identified 88 pairs with at least one twin individual fulfilling criteria for GP. Standard questionnaires for history of GP and RLS were completed for these twin pairs, their siblings and parents.
Twenty-five of 34 monozygotic (MZ) pairs were concordant for GP, compared with 12 of the 54 dizygotic (DZ) pairs. The casewise concordance was 0.85 and 0.36 for MZ and DZ pairs, respectively (p < 0.001). The lifetime GP prevalence for relatives of twins with GP was 51% for non-twin siblings, 47% for parents. Twenty-three percent of twin individuals with GP met RLS criteria compared with 8% of twin individuals without GP (p = 0.03). Of the twins with GP concordance, 19% met RLS criteria compared with 2% of twins with GP discordance (p = 0.01). In two MZ pairs, one had GP and the other RLS. The lifetime prevalence of RLS was 40% for mothers, and 24% for fathers and 18% for non-twin siblings.
This first twin family study of GP provides evidence for a genetic aetiology and for a genetic relationship to RLS.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · European journal of pain (London, England)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies of absence seizures (AS) using EEG with fMRI (EEG-fMRI) show a consistent network with prominent thalamic activation and a variety of cortical changes. Despite evidence suggesting a role of frontal cortex in seizure generation, group studies have not detected consistent AS-related changes in this region. We hypothesized that only a subgroup may show frontal cortical activation.
We studied 13 subjects with AS during EEG-fMRI to classify the different individual patterns of frontal cortical activation associated with AS.
Based upon visual inspection of surface-rendered activation maps we identified 2 subgroups that could be distinguished by the activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). One group of patients (n = 7) showed a primarily positive signal change (DLPFC-POS), whereas the other group (n = 6) showed a primarily negative signal change (DLFPC-NEG). When the DLPFC-POS group was compared to the DLPFC-NEG group, time-course analysis revealed a larger positive blood oxygenation level-dependent deflection following onset of the AS in cortical and subcortical areas beyond the DLPFC. This suggests a basic biological difference between these groups.
These observations suggest that there may be at least 2 mechanisms underpinning AS in individuals with absence epilepsy. This may have phenotypic and genetic implications for understanding epilepsy syndromes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the genetic etiology of the severe early infantile onset syndrome of malignant migrating partial seizures of infancy (MPSI).
Fifteen unrelated children with MPSI were screened for mutations in genes associated with infantile epileptic encephalopathies: SCN1A, CDKL5, STXBP1, PCDH19, and POLG. Microarray studies were performed to identify copy number variations.
One patient had a de novo SCN1A missense mutation p.R862G that affects the voltage sensor segment of SCN1A. A second patient had a de novo 11.06 Mb deletion of chromosome 2q24.2q31.1 encompassing more than 40 genes that included SCN1A. Screening of CDKL5 (13/15 patients), STXBP1 (13/15), PCDH19 (9/11 females), and the 3 common European mutations of POLG (11/15) was negative. Pathogenic copy number variations were not detected in 11/12 cases.
Epilepsies associated with SCN1A mutations range in severity from febrile seizures to severe epileptic encephalopathies including Dravet syndrome and severe infantile multifocal epilepsy. MPSI is now the most severe SCN1A phenotype described to date. While not a common cause of MPSI, SCN1A screening should now be considered in patients with this devastating epileptic encephalopathy.