Marina Trivisano

Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (44)96.9 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: PCDH19 gene mutations have been recently associated with an epileptic syndrome characterized by focal and generalized seizures. The PCDH19 gene (Xq22.1) has an unusual X-linked inheritance with a selective involvement for female subjects. A cellular interference mechanism has been hypothesized and male patients can manifest epilepsy only in the case of a mosaicism. So far about 100 female patients, and only one symptomatic male have been described. Using targeted next generation sequencing (NGS) approach we found a PCDH19 point mutation in two male patients with a clinical picture suggestive of PCDH19-related epilepsy. The system allowed us to verify that the two c.1352 C>T; p.(Pro451Leu) and c.918C>G; p.(Tyr306*) variants occurred in mosaic status. Mutations were confirmed by Sanger sequencing and quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Up to now, the traditional molecular screening for PCDH19-related epilepsy has been targeted to all females with early onset epilepsy with or without cognitive impairment. Male patients were generally excluded. We describe for the first time two mosaic PCDH19 point mutations in two male patients with a clinical picture suggestive of PCDH19-related epilepsy. This finding opens new opportunities for the molecular diagnoses in patients with a peculiar type of epilepsy that remains undiagnosed in male patients.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Epilepsia
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    ABSTRACT: Peri-ictal water drinking (PIWD) has been reported as the action of drinking during or within two minutes of an electroclinical seizure. It is considered a peri-ictal vegetative symptom, evident both during childhood and adulthood epilepsy. The aim of this paper was to describe the clinical and electroencephalographic features of two new adult subjects suffering from symptomatic temporal lobe epilepsy with episodes of PIWD recorded by VIDEO-EEG and to review literature data in order to better define this peculiar event during seizures, a rare and probably underestimated semiological sign. To date, 51 cases with focal epilepsy and seizures associated with PIWD have been reported. All patients presented with temporal lobe epilepsy. All cases but one had symptomatic epilepsy. Most of the patients had an involvement of the right hemisphere. Water drinking was reported as an ictal sign in the majority of patients, and less frequently was reported as postictal. We believe that PIWD might be considered a rare automatic behaviour, like other automatisms. Automatisms are more frequently described in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. PIWD was reported also to have lateralizing significance in the non-dominant temporal lobe, however, because of its rarity, this finding remains unclear.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Vomiting is uncommon in patients with epilepsy and has been reported in both idiopathic and symptomatic epilepsies. It is presumed to originate in the anterior part of the temporal lobe or insula. To date, 44 cases of nonidiopathic focal epilepsy and seizures associated with ictal vomiting have been reported. Of the 44 cases, eight were studied using invasive exploration (3 stereo-EEG/5 subdural grids). Here, we report a 4-year-and-7-month-old patient with a history of febrile convulsion in the second year of life and who developed episodes of vomiting and complex partial seizures at 3years of age. Scalp EEG showed no electrical modification during vomiting while the complex partial seizure displayed a clear right temporal origin. Brain MR showed hippocampal volume reduction with mild diffuse blurring of the temporal lobe. Stereoelectroencephalography study confirmed the mesiotemporal origin of the seizures and showed that the episodes of vomiting were strictly related to an ictal discharge originating in the mesial temporal structures without insular diffusion. The patient is now seizure-free (18months) after removal of the right anterior and mesial temporal structures. In all the reported patients, seizures seemed to start in mesial temporal structures. The grid subgroup is more homogeneous, and the most prominent characteristic (4/5) is the involvement of both mesial and lateral temporal structures at the time of vomiting. In the S-EEG group, there is evidence of involvement of either the anterior temporal structures alone (2/3) or both insular cortices (1/3). Our case confirms that vomiting could occur when the ictal discharge is limited to the anterior temporal structure without insular involvement. Regarding the pathophysiology of vomiting, the role of subcortical structures such as the dorsal vagal complex and the central pattern generators (CPG) located in the reticular area is well established. Vomiting as an epileptic phenomenon seems to be related to the involvement of temporal structures, mainly mesial structures (amygdala) and with an uncertain role of the insula. An intriguing hypothesis is that the ictal discharge in mesial structures determines seizure manifestation that could be explained not only by tonic activation of the cortex, but also by 'release' (reduction of inhibition?) of the CPG responsible for involuntary motor behaviors.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Epilepsy & Behavior
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    ABSTRACT: PCDH19 (Protocadherin 19), a member of the cadherin superfamily, is involved in the pathogenic mechanism of an X-linked model of neurological disease. The biological function of PCHD19 in human neurons and during neurogenesis is currently unknown. Therefore, we decided to use the model of the induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to characterize the location and timing of expression of PCDH19 during cortical neuronal differentiation. Our data show that PCDH19 is expressed in pluripotent cells before differentiation in a homogeneous pattern, despite its localization is often limited to one pole of the cell. During neuronal differentiation, positional information on the progenitor cells assumes an important role in acquiring polarization. The proper control of the cell orientation ensures a fine balancing between symmetric (giving rise to two progenitor sister cells) versus asymmetric (giving rise to one progenitor cell and one newborn neuron) division. This process results in the polar organization of the neural tube with a lumen indicating the basal part of the polarized neuronal progenitor cell, in the iPSC model the cells are organized in the 'neural rosette' and interestingly, PCDH19 is located at the center of the rosette, with other well-known markers of the lumen (N-cadherin and ZO-1). These data suggest that PCDH19 has a role in instructing the apico-basal polarity of the progenitor cells, thus regulating the development of a properly organized human brain.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Oncotarget
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    ABSTRACT: ChromodomainhelicaseDNA-binding protein 2 (CHD2) gene mutations have been reported in patients with myoclonic-atonic epilepsy (MAE), as well as in patients with Lennox-Gastaut, Dravet, and Jeavons syndromes and other epileptic encephalopathies featuring generalized epilepsy and intellectual disability. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of CHD2 mutations in a series of patients with MAE. Twenty patients affected by MAE were included in the study. We analyzed antecedents, age at onset, seizure semiology and frequency, EEG, treatment, and neuropsychological outcome. We sequenced the CHD2 gene with Sanger technology. We identified a CHD2 frameshift mutation in one patient (c.4256del19). He was a 17-year-old boy with no familial history for epilepsy and normal development before epilepsy onset. Epilepsy onset was at 3years and 5months: he presented with myoclonic-atonic seizures, head drops, myoclonic jerks, and absences. Interictal EEGs revealed slow background activity associated with generalized epileptiform abnormalities and photoparoxysmal response. His seizures were highly responsive to valproic acid, and an attempt to withdraw it led to seizure recurrence. Neuropsychological evaluation revealed moderate intellectual disability. Chromodomain-helicase-DNA-binding protein 2 is not the major gene associated with MAE. Conversely, CHD2 could be responsible for a proper phenotype characterized by infantile-onset generalized epilepsy, intellectual disability, and photosensitivity, which might overlap with MAE, Lennox-Gastaut, Dravet, and Jeavons syndromes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Epilepsy & Behavior
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    ABSTRACT: Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor genes are involved mainly in nocturnal frontal epilepsy. Despite extensive studies, to date, the α2 subunit did not show a strong association with this peculiar epileptic phenotype. We report CHRNA2 missense mutation in a family with benign familial infantile seizures (BFIS). TrueSeq Custom Amplicon (TSCA) sequencing approach was used to screen 10 ion channel genes in patients with idiopathic epilepsies. TSCA revealed a heterozygous single-nucleotide substitution in CHRNA2 gene (c.1126 C>T; p. Arg376Trp) that segregated in a family with BFIS; based on bio-informatics inspection, the change was predicted to be pathogenic. The investigated family includes parents and their three daughters. In affected individuals, seizures started between 6 and 24 months of age. Seizures were mainly in cluster and well-controlled. Outcome was good in all subjects. Even if nicotinic acetylcholine receptor genes are traditionally associated with autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (ADNFLE), this single-family description can open new possibilities in the genetic diagnosis, molecular characterization, and management of CHRNA2-related epilepsy. The pathogenic conversion of arginine 376 to tryptophan alters all of these interactions in the cytoplasmic domain, never reported to be involved in epileptogenic mechanism. Further functional tests will be necessary to strongly relate CHRNA2 mutation with BFIS phenotype. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 International League Against Epilepsy.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Epilepsia
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    ABSTRACT: Among alcohols, methanol intoxication is the most frequently associated with cerebral toxicity, causing retinal damage and putaminal necrosis. This consequence is believed to be due to the transformation of methanol into formic acid. We describe the case of a patient who presented with acute impairment of consciousness and tetraparesis after she had been drinking several bottles of a topical antiseptic solution (Lysoform Medical) containing 2-bromo-2-nitro-1,3-propandiol (bronopol) among excipients, in order to lose weight during previous months. Moreover, she had been on a strict slimming diet. Soon after admission, a severe respiratory and metabolic impairment became rapidly evident, requiring an intensive care unit admission. Cerebral MRI showed the presence of bilateral putaminal necrosis. She recovered in 10 days, surprisingly, without any evident clinical neurological signs. Methanol, also bronopol, when diluted in aqueous solution, at warm temperature and/or higher pH, may release formaldehyde, which is converted into formic acid, a basal ganglia toxic compound. 2015 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Case Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the PCDH19 gene are now recognized to cause epilepsy in females and are claiming increasing interest in the scientific world. Clinical features and seizure semiology have been described as heterogeneous. Intellectual disability might be present, ranging from mild to severe; behavioral and psychiatric problems are a common feature of the disorder, including aggressiveness, depressed mood, and psychotic traits. The purpose of our study was to describe the cognitive development in 11 girls with a de novo mutation in PCDH19 and early-onset epilepsy. Six patients had average mental development or mild intellectual disability regardless of persistence of seizures in clusters. Five patients presented moderate or severe intellectual disability and autistic features. In younger patients, we found that despite an average developmental quotient, they all presented a delay of expressive language acquisition and lower scores at follow-up testing completed at older ages, underlining that subtle dysfunctions might be present. Larger cohort and long-term follow-up might be useful in defining cognitive features and in improving the care of patients with PCDH19. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Epilepsy & Behavior
  • Marina Trivisano · Nicola Specchio · Federico Vigevano
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    ABSTRACT: Stiripentol is an antiepileptic drug (AED) approved by the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of Dravet Syndrome (DS) as adjunct treatment with valproate and clobazam. PCDH19-related epilepsy is an emerging epileptic syndrome characterized by the occurrence of epilepsy in female patients associated with mental retardation and autistic features in most cases. It shares many features with DS: age of onset, normal development before the onset, fever sensitivity, cognitive impairment during the time, drug-resistance. Basing on the numerous similarities between DS and PCDH19-related epilepsy, we tried stiripentol in a nine and half year old female patient with PCDH19-related resistant epilepsy, as add-on treatment to valproate and clobazam. It had a surprising efficacy as the patient had a two years and ten months seizure free period, as never in her epilepsy history. Up to date, clinical trials of stiripentol have been always focused on DS. The delineation of new epileptic syndromes, as PCDH19-related epilepsy, opens new scenarios to the utilization of this AED. This case report is suggestive of a good response of PCDH19-related Epilepsy to stiripentol. However further cases and above all clinical trials are necessary to confirm this result. Copyright © 2014 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · European journal of paediatric neurology: EJPN: official journal of the European Paediatric Neurology Society
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    ABSTRACT: Hypothalamic hamartomas (HHs) are intrinsically epileptogenic lesions associated to medically intractable focal epilepsy mainly characterized by gelastic and focal seizures. Intralesional recording with deep electrodes has documented the presence of ictal discharge arising from inside the lesion. Nevertheless interictal and ictal scalp EEG is poorly informative and non-localizing in a great deal of cases. HH disconnection leads to seizure remission in most cases. To describe the intralesional EEG recordings and to compare them with concomitant scalp EEG and with previous cases reported in literature. We reviewed the medical records of 17 children affected by drug-resistant focal epilepsy associated to HH. We recorded intralesional electrical activity during stereo-endoscopic disconnection in three cases and during deep brain stimulation implantation in one. We also correlated it with the simultaneous scalp-EEG recording. Acute intralesional recordings in our cases confirmed the presence of epileptiform abnormalities intermingled with low-voltage activity, mostly on the same side of the HH attachment. Paroxysmal activity recorded inside the HH was always evident. Mapping of HH epileptogenic activity could be useful to confirm the usefulness of disconnection procedure. This should consider on-site recording from the HH and if abnormalities are detected safely proceed to disconnection of the HH.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Acta neurologica Belgica
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    ABSTRACT: We report a 33 year-old woman addicted to chronic unspecified solvents abuse with stupor, respiratory disorders, tetraplegia and severe metabolic acidosis. On admission an unenhanced cranial CT scan showed symmetrical hypodensities of both lentiform nuclei. MR imaging performed 12 hours after stupor demonstrates bilateral putaminal hemorrhagic necrosis, bilateral external capsule, corona radiata and deep cerebellar hyperintensities with right cingulate cortex involvement. DWI reflected bilateral putaminal hyperintensities with restricted water diffusion as to citotoxic edema and development of vasogenic edema in the external capsule recalling a fork. On day twenty, after specific treatments MRI demonstrated a bilateral putaminal marginal enhancement. Bilateral putaminal necrosis is a characteristic but non-specific radiological finding of methanol poisoning. Lentiform Fork sign is a rare MRI finding reported in literature in 22 patients with various conditions characterized by metabolic acidosis. Vasogenic edema may be due to the differences in metabolic vulnerability between neurons and astrocytes. We postulate that metabolic acidosis could have an important role to generate this sign.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014
  • Nicola Specchio · Marina Trivisano · Giuseppe Pontrelli

    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Epilepsy & Behavior
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    ABSTRACT: Dravet syndrome (DS) is a rare disorder with seizure onset in the first year of life, typically beginning with prolonged febrile hemiclonic seizures or generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Photosensitivity is reported in more than 40% of patients. We present two cases of DS in which we had the chance to record occipital seizures induced by Intermittent Photic Stimulation (IPS). We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 32 children affected by DS. All clinical notes were reviewed in order to evaluate the occurrence of seizures induced by IPS. Among the 32 reviewed clinical records, two patients with IPS-induced seizures were found. In both patients seizures originated from the occipital-temporal region. Clinical history was characterized by generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and myoclonia. At the age respectively of 11 months and 20 months they presented a prolonged focal seizure induced by IPS at a frequency of 10Hz. During the follow-up they additionally presented with hypomotor seizures, also induced by IPS during laboratory EEG examinations. The semiology of hypomotor seizures resembled what is described as "complex partial status", a type of non-convulsive status with ictal discharges arising unilaterally from the occipito-temporal region. Based on available literature, IPS induced occipital seizures have not been reported during the first year of life. Although pathophysiological features are not yet completely understood, both photosensitivity and occipital seizures should be considered in the diagnostic evaluation in DS. The documentation of IPS induced occipital seizures might contribute to widen the clinical and neurophysiological spectra of DS.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Seizure

  • No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Clinical Neurophysiology
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    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: In vitro and in in vivo studies have shown a possible efficacy of LCM in the treatment of motor seizures and status epilepticus. We evaluate efficacy and tolerability of intravenous LCM in the treatment of refractory focal motor status epilepticus after failure of conventional therapy. Method: Patients presented with refractory focal motor status epilepticus underwent LCM i.v. therapy and a long-term video-EEG/polygraphic monitoring before and after LCM treatment. Results: Three patients (2 female, 1 male), aged between 60 and 70, with symptomatic (gliomatosis cerebri, brain metastasis of lung adenocarcinoma, ischemic stroke) focal motor status epilepticus were investigated. The first patient showed left fronto-central polyspikeand-wave activities associated with tonic contraction of right orbicularis oris followed by tonic-clonic activity in the right masseter and orbicularis oris, hypersalivation and aphasia. The second one presented with aphasia and tonic-clonic activity of right extensor hand muscles associated with left fronto-temporal epileptic discharge. The third one had repetitive left leg tonic-clonic activity with epileptic discharge over the vertex and right anterior region. In all patients we recorded a progressive reduction of seizure duration and intensity and the clinical and polygraphic disappearance of the focal motor status within 24 hours since the first administration of 400 mg of LCM i.v., after an ineffective treatment with DZP (10 mg i.v.) and LEV (3000 mg i.v.). All patients had no seizures recurrence with a maintaining dose of 400 mg/day. Conclusion: The clinical and polygraphic features of three patients with refractory focal motor status epilepticus suggest that LCM i.v. may be effective in the treatment of focal motor status epilepticus, but larger studies need to confirm the efficacy.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Bollettino - Lega Italiana contro l'Epilessia
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    ABSTRACT: "Ictal smile" is defined as a facial expression during a seizure, which usually translates happiness, clearly distinct from a tonic deviation of the mouth or other abnormal tonic-clonic movements involving the face, not associated to any happiness emotion (Epilepsia. 1998;39:1357-1360). It is a rare condition (6%-10% of patients; Epilepsia. 1998;39:1357-1360) and seems to be related to seizures arising from temporal or frontal regions (Brain. 2003;126:2121-2138).Anecdotal reports of brain perfusion SPECT performed during ictal and interictal phases (Epilepsia. 1998;39:1357-1360) do not supply, unfortunately, imaging documentation. Thus, we report the first evidence of brain perfusion abnormalities induced by ictal smile seizure.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Clinical nuclear medicine
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Seizure
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    Nicola Specchio · Marina Trivisano · Rod C Scott · Colin Ferrie

    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012
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    ABSTRACT: Ring chromosome 14 [r(14)] is a rare disorder. The aim of this study was to describe two new cases of r(14) drug-resistant epilepsy, and, through an extensive review of literature, highlight those epileptological features which are more commonly found and which may help in early diagnosis, genetic counseling, and treatment. Epilepsy onset in r(14) syndrome takes place during the first year of life; seizures are generalized or focal and less frequently myoclonic. Seizures might be induced by fever. Focal seizures are characterized by staring, eye or head deviation, respiratory arrest, swallowing, and hypertonia/hypotonia or clonic movements. Ictal EEG might show both focal and diffuse discharges. Interictal EEG reveals mainly focal abnormalities. Mental retardation represents a constant feature. Neurological assessment yields a delay in motor skill acquisition and less frequently both pyramidal and cerebellar signs. Dysmorphic features are evident in the majority of cases. Epilepsy associated with r(14) has many features that entail a challenging diagnostic process. The reported cases of r(14)-related epilepsy seem to highlight a series of common elements which may be helpful in pointing the clinician towards a correct diagnosis.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Epilepsy & Behavior