Publications by authors named "Julitta De Bellescize"

36 Publications

KCNT1-related epilepsies and epileptic encephalopathies: phenotypic and mutational spectrum.

Brain 2021 Jun 11. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Pediatric Neurology Department, Lyon University Hospital, 69500 Bron, France.

Variants in KCNT1, encoding a sodium-gated potassium channel (subfamily T member 1), have been associated with a spectrum of epilepsies and neurodevelopmental disorders. These range from familial autosomal dominant or sporadic sleep-related hypermotor epilepsy ((AD)SHE) to epilepsy of infancy with migrating focal seizures (EIMFS) and include developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEE). This study aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the phenotypic and genotypic spectrum of KCNT1 mutation-related epileptic disorders in 248 individuals, including 66 unpreviously published and 182 published cases, the largest cohort reported so far. Four phenotypic groups emerged from our analysis: i) EIMFS (152 individuals, 33 previously unpublished); ii) DEE other than EIMFS (non-EIMFS DEE) (37 individuals, 17 unpublished); iii) (AD)SHE (53 patients, 14 unpublished); iv) other phenotypes (6 individuals, 2 unpublished). In our cohort of 66 new cases, the most common phenotypic features were: a) in EIMFS, heterogeneity of seizure types, including epileptic spasms, epilepsy improvement over time, no epilepsy-related deaths; b) in non-EIMFS DEE, possible onset with West syndrome, occurrence of atypical absences, possible evolution to DEE with SHE features; one case of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP); c) in (AD)SHE, we observed a high prevalence of drug-resistance, although seizure frequency improved with age in some individuals, appearance of cognitive regression after seizure onset in all patients, no reported severe psychiatric disorders, although behavioural/psychiatric comorbidities were reported in about 50% of the patients, SUDEP in one individual; d) other phenotypes in individuals with mutation of KCNT1 included temporal lobe epilepsy, and epilepsy with tonic-clonic seizures and cognitive regression. Genotypic analysis of the whole cohort of 248 individuals showed only missense mutations and one inframe deletion in KCNT1. Although the KCNT1 mutations in affected individuals were seen to be distributed among the different domains of the KCNT1 protein, genotype-phenotype considerations showed many of the (AD)SHE-associated mutations to be clustered around the RCK2 domain in the C-terminus, distal to the NADP domain. Mutations associated with EIMFS/non-EIMFS DEE did not show a particular pattern of distribution in the KCNT1 protein. Recurrent KCNT1 mutations were seen to be associated with both severe and less severe phenotypes. Our study further defines and broadens the phenotypic and genotypic spectrums of KCNT1-related epileptic conditions and emphasizes the increasingly important role of this gene in the pathogenesis of early onset DEEs as well as in focal epilepsies, namely (AD)SHE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab219DOI Listing
June 2021

Epileptic phenotype in late-onset hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia successfully treated by diazoxide.

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 2021 May 4;34(5):667-673. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, HFME, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Bron, France.

Objectives: Serious hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia (HH) is generally the main initial symptom of hyperinsulinism. Epilepsy, without any overt feature of hypoglycemia, might be a very rare initial presentation of late-onset isolated hyperinsulinism.

Case Presentation: We describe a case of late-onset HH in a 15-year-old boy with a history of idiopathic generalized epilepsy, now named genetic generalized epilepsy (IGE/GGE), beginning with a tonic-clonic seizure at the age of 11 years. Subsequently, absences with rare eyelid myoclonia were recorded on electroencephalogram (EEG), followed by episodes of impaired consciousness with facial myoclonia. Neurological status was normal except attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). At the age of 15 years, an episode of slight alteration of consciousness with neurovegetative signs could be recorded, which did not correspond to an absence status. Hypoglycemia due to hyperinsulinism was documented (clinically, biologically, and genetically). Diazoxide treatment resolved the glycopenic symptoms, the non-hypoglycemic seizures and normalized brain electrical activity allowing complete withdrawal of antiepileptic medication.

Conclusions: Epilepsy can be a very rare initial feature of HH starting in childhood. The occurrence of atypical features in the context of GGE as "absence statuses" with unusual vegetative symptoms and facial myoclonia might be suggestive for HH. Careful assessment and specific treatment are necessary to prevent hyperinsulinism related brain damage. Our case showed that diazoxide might also resolve seizures and normalize EEG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2020-0381DOI Listing
May 2021

Neural correlates of verbal working memory in children with epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes.

Neuroimage Clin 2020 20;28:102392. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

Department of Clinical Neurosciences, CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Background: Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have identified brain systems underlying different components of working memory (WM) in healthy subjects. The aim of this study was to compare the functional integrity of these neural networks in children with self-limited childhood epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes (ECTS) as compared to healthy controls, using a verbal working memory task (WMT).

Methods: Functional MRI of WM in seventeen 6-to-13 year-old children, diagnosed with ECTS, and 17 sex- and age-matched healthy controls were conducted at 3 T. To estimate BOLD responses during the maintenance of low, medium, and high WMT loads, we used a Sternberg verbal WMT. Neuropsychological testing prior to scanning and behavioral data during scanning were also acquired.

Results: Behavioral performances during WMT, in particular accuracy and response time, were poorer in children with ECTS than in controls. Increased WM load was associated with increased BOLD signal in all subjects, with significant clusters detected in frontal and parietal regions, predominantly in the left hemisphere. However, under the high load condition, patients showed reduced activation in the frontal, temporal and parietal regions as compared to controls. In brain regions where WM-triggered BOLD activation differed between groups, this activation correlated with neuropsychological performances in healthy controls but not in patients with ECTS, further suggesting WM network dysfunction in the latter.

Conclusion: Children with ECTS differ from healthy controls in how they control WM processes during tasks with increasing difficulty level, notably for high WM load where patients demonstrate both reduced BOLD activation and behavioral performances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2020.102392DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7495114PMC
June 2021

Exome sequencing in 57 patients with self-limited focal epilepsies of childhood with typical or atypical presentations suggests novel candidate genes.

Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2020 Jul 29;27:104-110. Epub 2020 May 29.

Department of Medical Genetics, Member of the ERN EpiCARE, University Hospital of Lyon, Lyon, France; Institut NeuroMyoGène, CNRS UMR 5310 - INSERM U1217, Lyon, France; Université de Lyon - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France. Electronic address:

Objective: Self-limited focal epilepsies of childhood (SFEC) are amongst the best defined and most frequent epilepsy syndromes affecting children with usually normal developmental milestones. They include core syndromes such as Rolandic epilepsy or "Benign" epilepsy with Centro-Temporal Spikes and the benign occipital epilepsies, the early onset Panayiotopoulos syndrome and the late-onset Gastaut type. Atypical forms exist for all of them. Atypical Rolandic epilepsies are conceptualized as belonging to a continuum reaching from the "benign" RE to the severe end of the Landau-Kleffner (LKS) and Continuous Spike-Waves during Sleep syndromes (CSWS). GRIN2A has been shown to cause the epilepsy-aphasia continuum that includes some patients with atypical Rolandic epilepsy with frequent speech disorders, LKS and CSWS. In the present study, we searched novel genes causing SFEC with typical or atypical presentations.

Methods: Exome sequencing was performed in 57 trios. Patients presented with typical or atypical SFEC, negative for GRIN2A pathogenic variant.

Results: We found rare candidate variants in 20 patients. Thirteen had occurred de novo and were mostly associated to atypical Rolandic Epilepsy. Two of them could be considered as disease related: a null variant in GRIN2B and a missense variant in CAMK2A. Others were considered good candidates, including a substitution affecting a splice site in CACNG2 and missense variants in genes encoding enzymes involved in chromatin remodeling.

Significance: Our results further illustrate the fact that atypical SFEC are more likely to have Mendelian inheritance than typical SFEC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpn.2020.05.003DOI Listing
July 2020

Early-onset epileptic encephalopathy with migrating focal seizures associated with a FARS2 homozygous nonsense variant.

Epileptic Disord 2020 Jun;22(3):327-335

Paediatric Clinical Epileptology and Functional Neurology Department, Reference Center of rare epilepsies, Member of the ERN EpiCARE, University Hospitals of Lyon (HCL), Lyon, France.

Epilepsy of infancy with migrating focal seizures (EIMFS) is now a well-recognized early-onset syndrome included in the ILAE classification of the epilepsies. KCNT1 gain-of-function variants are identified in about half of patients. In the remaining cases, the underlying genetic component is far more heterogeneous with sporadic mutations occasionally reported in SCN1A, SCN2A, SLC12A5, TBC1D24, PLCB1, SLC25A22, and KCNQ2. Here, we report, for the first time, a homozygous deleterious variant in the FARS2 gene, identified using a 115-gene panel for monogenic epilepsies, in a patient with EIMFS. This boy was the second child born to healthy consanguineous parents. The first seizures occurred at six weeks of age. The patient rapidly developed severe epilepsy with focal discharges on EEG, migrating from one brain region to another, highly suggestive of EIMFS. At five months of age, he had daily multifocal clonic seizures and erratic myoclonic fits, which were not consistently related to spikes or spike-and-wave discharges. Neurological status was severely abnormal from onset and the patient died at 10 months of age from respiratory distress. Using the gene panel, a homozygous missense variant of FARS2 was identified, at Chr6 (GRCh37):g.5404829C>T, c.667C>T (NM_001318872.1), inherited from both parents, leading to an arginine-to-cysteine substitution, p.(Arg223Cys). FARS2 is a member of the mitochondrial aminoacyl tRNA transferase (ARS) enzymes. ARS variants are increasingly recognized causes of early-onset epileptic and neurodevelopmental encephalopathies, however, the associated epileptic phenotype is not completely described. This case shows that FARS2-related seizures can mimic EIMFS in the early stage of the disease. Furthermore, in the setting of migrating focal seizures of infancy, FARS2 should be considered as a further candidate gene, and increased lactate level and occurrence of refractory myoclonic seizures are possible key features to suspect FARS deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1684/epd.2020.1168DOI Listing
June 2020

Bi-allelic GAD1 variants cause a neonatal onset syndromic developmental and epileptic encephalopathy.

Brain 2020 05;143(5):1447-1461

Neurogenetics Group, VIB-Center for Molecular Neurology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.

Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies are a heterogeneous group of early-onset epilepsy syndromes dramatically impairing neurodevelopment. Modern genomic technologies have revealed a number of monogenic origins and opened the door to therapeutic hopes. Here we describe a new syndromic developmental and epileptic encephalopathy caused by bi-allelic loss-of-function variants in GAD1, as presented by 11 patients from six independent consanguineous families. Seizure onset occurred in the first 2 months of life in all patients. All 10 patients, from whom early disease history was available, presented with seizure onset in the first month of life, mainly consisting of epileptic spasms or myoclonic seizures. Early EEG showed suppression-burst or pattern of burst attenuation or hypsarrhythmia if only recorded in the post-neonatal period. Eight patients had joint contractures and/or pes equinovarus. Seven patients presented a cleft palate and two also had an omphalocele, reproducing the phenotype of the knockout Gad1-/- mouse model. Four patients died before 4 years of age. GAD1 encodes the glutamate decarboxylase enzyme GAD67, a critical actor of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) metabolism as it catalyses the decarboxylation of glutamic acid to form GABA. Our findings evoke a novel syndrome related to GAD67 deficiency, characterized by the unique association of developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, cleft palate, joint contractures and/or omphalocele.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa085DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7241960PMC
May 2020

BLAST paradigm: A new test to assess brief attentional fluctuations in children with epilepsy, ADHD, and normally developing children.

Epilepsy Behav 2019 10 17;99:106470. Epub 2019 Aug 17.

INSERM, U1028, CNRS, UMR5292, Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, Lyon, France; Department of Paediatric Clinical Epileptology, Sleep Disorders and Functional Neurology, Member of the European Reference Network on Rare and Complex Epilepsies EpiCARE, Hospices Civils de Lyon and University Lyon, Lyon, France.

Background: Pure attentional deficits are still underdiagnosed in children with epilepsy. While attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is historically the most studied cause of attentional disorders, an important number of children with epilepsy and attentional complaints do not fully meet the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fifth Edition) criteria for ADHD and may be excluded from specific care. Clinical tools currently available are insufficient to detect more subtle but clinically relevant attentional fluctuations.

Objective/methods: The recently developed Bron-Lyon Attention Stability Test (BLAST) was used to evaluate brief attentional fluctuations with a high temporal precision. Drawing on two new attentional indices, we evaluated spontaneous fluctuations of response accuracy and timing, underlying attentional stability. The main objective was to assess attentional stability in children with i) epilepsy with comorbid ADHD, ii) epilepsy without comorbid ADHD, iii) ADHD not medicated and without epilepsy, and iv) normal development. Further objectives were to assess the main determinants of attentional stability in those groups, including the effect of factors related to the epileptic condition.

Results: In 122 children with epilepsy (67 with comorbid ADHD), 52 children with ADHD, and 53 healthy controls, we demonstrated lower attentional stability in both the groups with epilepsy and ADHD compared with healthy children. In children with epilepsy, BLAST scores were negatively associated with earlier seizure onset and AED (antiepileptic drug) polytherapy, while the seizure frequency, epilepsy duration, or type did not influence BLAST scores.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that attentional stability is impaired in children with epilepsy and/or ADHD. Bron-Lyon Attention Stability Test seems to be a sensitive test to detect attentional stability deficit in children with epilepsy and with attentional complaints who did not meet all criteria of ADHD. We propose that BLAST could be a useful clinical neuropsychological tool to assess attentional disorders in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.106470DOI Listing
October 2019

Infantile-Onset Paroxysmal Movement Disorder and Episodic Ataxia Associated with a TBC1D24 Mutation.

Neuropediatrics 2019 10 21;50(5):308-312. Epub 2019 Jun 21.

Pediatric Neurology, Child and Adolescent Department, University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland.

Mutations that disrupt the presynaptic protein have been implicated in various neurological disorders including epilepsy, chronic encephalopathy, DOORS (deafness, onychodystrophy, osteodystrophy, mental retardation, and seizures) syndrome, nonsyndromic hearing loss, and myoclonus. We present the case of a 22-month-old male with infantile-onset paroxysmal episodes of facial and limb myoclonus. The episodes were linked to biallelic variants in exon 2 of the gene that lead to amino acid changes (c.304C >T/p.Pro102Ser and c.410T > C/p.Val137Ala), each variant being inherited from a parent. Follow-up imaging in adolescence revealed widened right cerebellar sulci. We discuss the evolving landscape of associated phenotypes; this case adds to a growing body of evidence linking this gene to movement disorders in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0039-1688410DOI Listing
October 2019

GRIN2A-related disorders: genotype and functional consequence predict phenotype.

Brain 2019 01;142(1):80-92

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Leipzig Hospitals and Clinics, Leipzig, Germany.

Alterations of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunit GluN2A, encoded by GRIN2A, have been associated with a spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders with prominent speech-related features, and epilepsy. We performed a comprehensive assessment of phenotypes with a standardized questionnaire in 92 previously unreported individuals with GRIN2A-related disorders. Applying the criteria of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics to all published variants yielded 156 additional cases with pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in GRIN2A, resulting in a total of 248 individuals. The phenotypic spectrum ranged from normal or near-normal development with mild epilepsy and speech delay/apraxia to severe developmental and epileptic encephalopathy, often within the epilepsy-aphasia spectrum. We found that pathogenic missense variants in transmembrane and linker domains (misTMD+Linker) were associated with severe developmental phenotypes, whereas missense variants within amino terminal or ligand-binding domains (misATD+LBD) and null variants led to less severe developmental phenotypes, which we confirmed in a discovery (P = 10-6) as well as validation cohort (P = 0.0003). Other phenotypes such as MRI abnormalities and epilepsy types were also significantly different between the two groups. Notably, this was paralleled by electrophysiology data, where misTMD+Linker predominantly led to NMDAR gain-of-function, while misATD+LBD exclusively caused NMDAR loss-of-function. With respect to null variants, we show that Grin2a+/- cortical rat neurons also had reduced NMDAR function and there was no evidence of previously postulated compensatory overexpression of GluN2B. We demonstrate that null variants and misATD+LBD of GRIN2A do not only share the same clinical spectrum (i.e. milder phenotypes), but also result in similar electrophysiological consequences (loss-of-function) opposing those of misTMD+Linker (severe phenotypes; predominantly gain-of-function). This new pathomechanistic model may ultimately help in predicting phenotype severity as well as eligibility for potential precision medicine approaches in GRIN2A-related disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awy304DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6308310PMC
January 2019

Electrical status epilepticus in sleep, a constitutive feature of Christianson syndrome?

Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2018 Nov 21;22(6):1124-1132. Epub 2018 Jul 21.

Department of Medical Genetics, Lyon University Hospital, Lyon, France; Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University, Lyon, France; INSERM U1028, CNRS UMR5292, Lyon Neuroscience Research Centre (CRNL), Lyon, France. Electronic address:

Christianson syndrome (CS) is a X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder, including severe intellectual disability (ID), progressive microcephaly, ataxia, autistic behaviour (ASD), near absent speech, and epilepsy. Electrical status epilepticus in sleep (ESES) has been reported in two patients. We describe five male patients from three unrelated families with Christianson syndrome caused by a pathogenic nucleotide variation or a copy-number variation involving SLC9A6. ESES was present in three out of the five patients in the critical age window between 4 and 8 years. All patients presented with severe intellectual disability, autistic features, and hyperactivity. Epilepsy onset occurred within the first two years of life. Seizures were of various types. In the two boys with a 20-years follow-up, epilepsy was drug-resistant during childhood, and became less active in early adolescence. Psychomotor regression was noted in two patients presenting with ESES. It was difficult to assess to what extent ESES could have contributed to the pathophysiological process, leading to regression of the already very limited communication skills. The two published case reports and our observation suggests that ESES could be a constitutive feature of Christianson syndrome, as it has already been shown for other Mendelian epileptic disorders, such as GRIN2A and CNKSR2-related developmental epileptic encephalopathies. Sleep EEG should be performed in patients with Christianson syndrome between 4 and 8 years of age. ESES occurring in the context of ID, ASD and severe speech delay, could be helpful to make a diagnosis of CS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpn.2018.07.004DOI Listing
November 2018

The landscape of epilepsy-related GATOR1 variants.

Genet Med 2019 02 10;21(2):398-408. Epub 2018 Aug 10.

Stichting Epilepsie Instellingen Nederland, Zwolle/Heemstede, The Netherlands.

Purpose: To define the phenotypic and mutational spectrum of epilepsies related to DEPDC5, NPRL2 and NPRL3 genes encoding the GATOR1 complex, a negative regulator of the mTORC1 pathway METHODS: We analyzed clinical and genetic data of 73 novel probands (familial and sporadic) with epilepsy-related variants in GATOR1-encoding genes and proposed new guidelines for clinical interpretation of GATOR1 variants.

Results: The GATOR1 seizure phenotype consisted mostly in focal seizures (e.g., hypermotor or frontal lobe seizures in 50%), with a mean age at onset of 4.4 years, often sleep-related and drug-resistant (54%), and associated with focal cortical dysplasia (20%). Infantile spasms were reported in 10% of the probands. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) occurred in 10% of the families. Novel classification framework of all 140 epilepsy-related GATOR1 variants (including the variants of this study) revealed that 68% are loss-of-function pathogenic, 14% are likely pathogenic, 15% are variants of uncertain significance and 3% are likely benign.

Conclusion: Our data emphasize the increasingly important role of GATOR1 genes in the pathogenesis of focal epilepsies (>180 probands to date). The GATOR1 phenotypic spectrum ranges from sporadic early-onset epilepsies with cognitive impairment comorbidities to familial focal epilepsies, and SUDEP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-018-0060-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6292495PMC
February 2019

Neonatal tremor episodes and hyperekplexia-like presentation at onset in a child with SCN8A developmental and epileptic encephalopathy.

Epileptic Disord 2018 Aug;20(4):289-294

Service de Neurologie Pédiatrique, HFME, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Centre de Référence des Épilepsies Rares (CReER)Maladies, HFME-HCL, Lyon, France.

SCN8A encephalopathy is a newly defined epileptic encephalopathy caused by de novo mutations of the SCN8A gene. We report herein a four-year-old boy presenting with severe non-epileptic abnormal movements, of possibly antenatal onset, progressively associated with pharmacoresistant epilepsy and regression, associated with a de novo heterozygous missense mutation of SCN8A. This case shows that paroxysmal non-epileptic episodes of severe tremor and hyperekplexia-like startles and a striking vegetative component can be the first early symptoms of severe SCN8A developmental and epileptic encephalopathy. Clinicians should be aware of these symptoms in order to avoid misdiagnosis and ensure early appropriate therapeutic management. [Published with video sequences on www.epilepticdisorders.com].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1684/epd.2018.0988DOI Listing
August 2018

Dual Molecular Effects of Dominant RORA Mutations Cause Two Variants of Syndromic Intellectual Disability with Either Autism or Cerebellar Ataxia.

Am J Hum Genet 2018 05 12;102(5):744-759. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire & Génomique, CHU de Rennes, 35033 Rennes, France.

RORα, the RAR-related orphan nuclear receptor alpha, is essential for cerebellar development. The spontaneous mutant mouse staggerer, with an ataxic gait caused by neurodegeneration of cerebellar Purkinje cells, was discovered two decades ago to result from homozygous intragenic Rora deletions. However, RORA mutations were hitherto undocumented in humans. Through a multi-centric collaboration, we identified three copy-number variant deletions (two de novo and one dominantly inherited in three generations), one de novo disrupting duplication, and nine de novo point mutations (three truncating, one canonical splice site, and five missense mutations) involving RORA in 16 individuals from 13 families with variable neurodevelopmental delay and intellectual disability (ID)-associated autistic features, cerebellar ataxia, and epilepsy. Consistent with the human and mouse data, disruption of the D. rerio ortholog, roraa, causes significant reduction in the size of the developing cerebellum. Systematic in vivo complementation studies showed that, whereas wild-type human RORA mRNA could complement the cerebellar pathology, missense variants had two distinct pathogenic mechanisms of either haploinsufficiency or a dominant toxic effect according to their localization in the ligand-binding or DNA-binding domains, respectively. This dichotomous direction of effect is likely relevant to the phenotype in humans: individuals with loss-of-function variants leading to haploinsufficiency show ID with autistic features, while individuals with de novo dominant toxic variants present with ID, ataxia, and cerebellar atrophy. Our combined genetic and functional data highlight the complex mutational landscape at the human RORA locus and suggest that dual mutational effects likely determine phenotypic outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.02.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986661PMC
May 2018

A Recurrent De Novo PACS2 Heterozygous Missense Variant Causes Neonatal-Onset Developmental Epileptic Encephalopathy, Facial Dysmorphism, and Cerebellar Dysgenesis.

Am J Hum Genet 2018 05 12;102(5):995-1007. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Genetics, 9700 RB Groningen, the Netherlands.

Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) represent a large clinical and genetic heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental diseases. The identification of pathogenic genetic variants in DEEs remains crucial for deciphering this complex group and for accurately caring for affected individuals (clinical diagnosis, genetic counseling, impacting medical, precision therapy, clinical trials, etc.). Whole-exome sequencing and intensive data sharing identified a recurrent de novo PACS2 heterozygous missense variant in 14 unrelated individuals. Their phenotype was characterized by epilepsy, global developmental delay with or without autism, common cerebellar dysgenesis, and facial dysmorphism. Mixed focal and generalized epilepsy occurred in the neonatal period, controlled with difficulty in the first year, but many improved in early childhood. PACS2 is an important PACS1 paralog and encodes a multifunctional sorting protein involved in nuclear gene expression and pathway traffic regulation. Both proteins harbor cargo(furin)-binding regions (FBRs) that bind cargo proteins, sorting adaptors, and cellular kinase. Compared to the defined PACS1 recurrent variant series, individuals with PACS2 variant have more consistently neonatal/early-infantile-onset epilepsy that can be challenging to control. Cerebellar abnormalities may be similar but PACS2 individuals exhibit a pattern of clear dysgenesis ranging from mild to severe. Functional studies demonstrated that the PACS2 recurrent variant reduces the ability of the predicted autoregulatory domain to modulate the interaction between the PACS2 FBR and client proteins, which may disturb cellular function. These findings support the causality of this recurrent de novo PACS2 heterozygous missense in DEEs with facial dysmorphim and cerebellar dysgenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.03.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986694PMC
May 2018

De Novo Mutations in Protein Kinase Genes CAMK2A and CAMK2B Cause Intellectual Disability.

Am J Hum Genet 2017 Nov;101(5):768-788

Nottingham Regional Genetics Service, City Hospital Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, The Gables, Hucknall Road, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK.

Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CAMK2) is one of the first proteins shown to be essential for normal learning and synaptic plasticity in mice, but its requirement for human brain development has not yet been established. Through a multi-center collaborative study based on a whole-exome sequencing approach, we identified 19 exceedingly rare de novo CAMK2A or CAMK2B variants in 24 unrelated individuals with intellectual disability. Variants were assessed for their effect on CAMK2 function and on neuronal migration. For both CAMK2A and CAMK2B, we identified mutations that decreased or increased CAMK2 auto-phosphorylation at Thr286/Thr287. We further found that all mutations affecting auto-phosphorylation also affected neuronal migration, highlighting the importance of tightly regulated CAMK2 auto-phosphorylation in neuronal function and neurodevelopment. Our data establish the importance of CAMK2A and CAMK2B and their auto-phosphorylation in human brain function and expand the phenotypic spectrum of the disorders caused by variants in key players of the glutamatergic signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.10.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5673671PMC
November 2017

Behavioral and fMRI responses to fearful faces are altered in benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BCECTS).

Epilepsia 2017 10 31;58(10):1716-1727. Epub 2017 Jul 31.

Institute of Epilepsies (IDEE), Lyon, France.

Objective: We hypothesized that children with benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BCECTS) might have altered social cognitive skills and underlying neural networks.

Methods: We studied 13 patients with BCECTS and 11 age-matched controls using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with an emotional discrimination task consisting of viewing happy, fearful, scrambled, and neutral faces. Behavioral performance measured during the task was correlated with clinical variables and behavioral ratings.

Results: In comparison with age-matched controls, children with BCECTS performing a fearful faces detection task showed significantly reduced bilateral fMRI activation in the insular cortex, caudate, and lentiform nuclei, as well as increased response time. The percentage of errors made by children with BCECTS correlated negatively with age, a finding not observed in controls. In patients, accuracy positively correlated with time since the last seizure. The above abnormalities were not observed during happy faces detection task, except for a slower response in children with BCECTS as compared to controls.

Significance: Our study suggests that BCECTS is associated with altered social cognition network and function, particularly for the identification of fearful faces. The age dependency of some of these findings supports the view that a delayed maturation of spiking cortical regions might underlie the cognitive dysfunction observed in BCECTS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.13858DOI Listing
October 2017

Mutations in GABRB3: From febrile seizures to epileptic encephalopathies.

Neurology 2017 01 4;88(5):483-492. Epub 2017 Jan 4.

From the Danish Epilepsy Centre (R.S.M., K.M.J., M.N.), Dianalund; Institute for Regional Health Services (R.S.M., K.M.J., M.N.), University of Southern Denmark, Odense; Department of Neurology and Epileptology (T.V.W., S.V., H.L., S.M.), Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, and Department of Neurosurgery (T.V.W.), University of Tübingen; Department of Neuropediatrics (I.H., M.P., S.v.S., H.M.), University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel, Germany; Division of Neurology (I.H., S.H., H.D.), The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA; Neuroscience Department (C.M., R.G.), Children's Hospital Anna Meyer-University of Florence, Italy; Department of Genetics (E.H.B., M.S., K.L.v.G.), University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands; Department of Neurology and Neurorehabilitation (U.V., I.T., T.T.), Children's Clinic of Tartu University Hospital, Estonia; Department of Pediatric Neurology and Epilepsy Center (I.B.), LMU Munich, Germany; Department of Pediatrics (I.T., T.T.), University of Tartu; Tallinn Children's Hospital (I.T.), Tallinn, Estonia; Clinic for Neuropediatrics and Neurorehabilitation (G.K., C.B., H.H.), Epilepsy Center for Children and Adolescents, Schön Klinik Vogtareuth, Germany; Paracelsus Medical Private University (G.K.), Salzburg, Austria; Neuropeadiatric Department (L.L.F.), Hospices Civils de Lyon; Department of Genetics (G.L., N.C.), Lyon University Hospitals; Claude Bernard Lyon I University (G.L., N.C.); Lyon Neuroscience Research Centre (G.L., N.C.), CNRS UMR5292, INSERM U1028; Epilepsy, Sleep and Pediatric Neurophysiology Department (J.d.B.), Lyon University Hospitals, France; Clinic for Pediatric Neurology (S.B.), Pediatric Department, University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark; Kleinwachau (N.H.), Sächsisches Epilepsiezentrum Radeberg, Dresden; Department of Neuropediatrics/Epilepsy Center (J.J.), University Medical Center Freiburg; Department of General Paediatrics (S.S.), Division of Child Neurology and Inherited Metabolic Diseases, Centre for Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg; Department of Women and Child Health (S.S.), Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Leipzig Hospitals and Clinics, Germany; Department of Pediatrics (C.T.M., H.C.M.), Division of Genetic Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle; Amplexa Genetics (L.H.G.L., H.A.D.), Odense, Denmark; Northern German Epilepsy Center for Children and Adolescents (S.v.S.), Schwentinental-Raisdorf, Germany; Wilhelm Johannsen Centre for Functional Genome Research (Y.M., N.T.), Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen; Danish Epilepsy Center (G.R.), Filadelfia/University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Diagnostics (J.R.L.), Institute of Human Genetics, University of Leipzig; and Svt. Luka's Institute of Child Neurology and Epilepsy (K.M.), Moscow, Russia. Dr Maljevic is currently at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia.

Objective: To examine the role of mutations in GABRB3 encoding the β subunit of the GABA receptor in individual patients with epilepsy with regard to causality, the spectrum of genetic variants, their pathophysiology, and associated phenotypes.

Methods: We performed massive parallel sequencing of GABRB3 in 416 patients with a range of epileptic encephalopathies and childhood-onset epilepsies and recruited additional patients with epilepsy with GABRB3 mutations from other research and diagnostic programs.

Results: We identified 22 patients with heterozygous mutations in GABRB3, including 3 probands from multiplex families. The phenotypic spectrum of the mutation carriers ranged from simple febrile seizures, genetic epilepsies with febrile seizures plus, and epilepsy with myoclonic-atonic seizures to West syndrome and other types of severe, early-onset epileptic encephalopathies. Electrophysiologic analysis of 7 mutations in Xenopus laevis oocytes, using coexpression of wild-type or mutant β, together with α and γ subunits and an automated 2-microelectrode voltage-clamp system, revealed reduced GABA-induced current amplitudes or GABA sensitivity for 5 of 7 mutations.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that GABRB3 mutations are associated with a broad phenotypic spectrum of epilepsies and that reduced receptor function causing GABAergic disinhibition represents the relevant disease mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000003565DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5278942PMC
January 2017

Loss of function of the retinoid-related nuclear receptor (RORB) gene and epilepsy.

Eur J Hum Genet 2016 12 29;24(12):1761-1770. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

Human Genetics Laboratory, "Mina Minovici" National Institute of Forensic Medicine, Bucharest, Romania.

Genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE), formerly known as idiopathic generalized epilepsy, is the most common form of epilepsy and is thought to have predominant genetic etiology. GGE are clinically characterized by absence, myoclonic, or generalized tonic-clonic seizures with electroencephalographic pattern of bilateral, synchronous, and symmetrical spike-and-wave discharges. Despite their strong heritability, the genetic basis of generalized epilepsies remains largely elusive. Nevertheless, recent advances in genetic technology have led to the identification of numerous genes and genomic defects in various types of epilepsies in the past few years. In the present study, we performed whole-exome sequencing in a family with GGE consistent with the diagnosis of eyelid myoclonia with absences. We found a nonsense variant (c.196C>T/p.(Arg66*)) in RORB, which encodes the beta retinoid-related orphan nuclear receptor (RORβ), in four affected family members. In addition, two de novo variants (c.218T>C/p.(Leu73Pro); c.1249_1251delACG/p.(Thr417del)) were identified in sporadic patients by trio-based exome sequencing. We also found two de novo deletions in patients with behavioral and cognitive impairment and epilepsy: a 52-kb microdeletion involving exons 5-10 of RORB and a larger 9q21-microdeletion. Furthermore, we identified a patient with intellectual disability and a balanced translocation where one breakpoint truncates RORB and refined the phenotype of a recently reported patient with RORB deletion. Our data support the role of RORB gene variants/CNVs in neurodevelopmental disorders including epilepsy, and especially in generalized epilepsies with predominant absence seizures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ejhg.2016.80DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5117930PMC
December 2016

West syndrome caused by homozygous variant in the evolutionary conserved gene encoding the mitochondrial elongation factor GUF1.

Eur J Hum Genet 2016 07 21;24(7):1001-8. Epub 2015 Oct 21.

Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

West syndrome (WS), defined by the triad of infantile spasms, pathognomonic hypsarrhythmia and developmental regression, is a rare epileptic disease affecting about 1:3500 live births. To get better insights on the genetic of this pathology, we exome-sequenced the members of a consanguineous family affected with isolated WS. We identified a homozygous variant (c.1825G>T/p.(Ala609Ser)) in the GUF1 gene in the three affected siblings. GUF1 encodes a protein essential in conditions that counteract faithful protein synthesis: it is able to remobilize stuck ribosomes and transiently inhibit the elongation process to optimize protein synthesis. The variant identified in the WS family changes an alanine residue conserved in all eukaryotic organisms and positioned within the tRNA-binding moiety of this nuclear genome-encoded mitochondrial translational elongation factor. Yeast complementation assays show that the activity of GUF1(A609S) is modified in suboptimal environments. We suggest a new link between improper assembly of respiratory chain complexes and WS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ejhg.2015.227DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5070883PMC
July 2016

Homozygous TBC1D24 mutation in two siblings with familial infantile myoclonic epilepsy (FIME) and moderate intellectual disability.

Epilepsy Res 2015 Mar 25;111:72-7. Epub 2015 Jan 25.

Department of Medical Genetics, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France; Université Lyon 1, Lyon, France; Neurophysiology and Epilepsy Unit, Neurological Hospital P. Wertheimer, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France. Electronic address:

Mutations in the TBC1D24 gene were first reported in an Italian family with a unique epileptic phenotype consisting of drug-responsive, early-onset idiopathic myoclonic seizures. Patients presented with isolated bilateral or focal myoclonia, which could evolve to long-lasting attacks without loss of consciousness, with a peculiar reflex component, and were associated with generalized tonic-clonic seizures. This entity was named "familial infantile myoclonic epilepsy" (FIME). More recently, TBC1D24 mutations have been shown to cause a variable range of disorders, including epilepsy of various seizure types and severity, non-syndromic deafness, and DOORS syndrome. We report on the electro-clinical features of two brothers, born to first-cousin parents, affected with infantile-onset myoclonic epilepsy. The peculiar epileptic presentation prompted us to perform direct sequencing of the TBC1D24 gene. The patients had very early onset of focal myoclonic fits with variable topography, lasting a few minutes to several hours, without loss of consciousness, which frequently evolved to generalized myoclonus or myoclonic status. Reflex myoclonia were noticed in one patient. Neurological outcome was marked by moderate intellectual disability. Despite the high frequency of seizures, repeated EEG recordings showed normal background rhythm and rare interictal spikes and waves. We found a homozygous missense mutation, c.457G>A/p.Glu153Lys, in the two affected brothers. This observation combined with recent data from the literature, suggest that mutations in TBCD24 cause a pathological continuum, with FIME at the "benign" end and severe drug-refractory epileptic encephalopathy on the severe end. Early-onset myoclonic epilepsy with focal and generalized myoclonic seizures is a common characteristic of this continuum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2015.01.008DOI Listing
March 2015

Molecular characterization of a cohort of 73 patients with infantile spasms syndrome.

Eur J Med Genet 2015 Feb 11;58(2):51-8. Epub 2014 Dec 11.

CRNL, CNRS UMR 5292, INSERM U1028, Lyon, France; Department of Genetics, Lyon University Hospital, Lyon, France; Claude Bernard Lyon I University, Lyon, France. Electronic address:

Infantile Spasms syndrome (ISs) is a characterized by epileptic spasms occurring in clusters with an onset in the first year of life. West syndrome represents a subset of ISs that associates spasms in clusters, a hypsarrhythmia EEG pattern and a developmental arrest or regression. Aetiology of ISs is widely heterogeneous including many genetic causes. Many patients, however, remain without etiological diagnosis, which is critical for prognostic purpose and genetic counselling. In the present study, we performed genetic screening of 73 patients with different types of ISs by array-CGH and molecular analysis of 5 genes: CDKL5, STXBP1, KCNQ2, and GRIN2A, whose mutations cause different types of epileptic encephalopathies, including ISs, as well as MAGI2, which was suggested to be related to a subset of ISs. In total, we found a disease-causing mutation or CNV (Copy Number Variation) in 15% of the patients. These included 6 point mutations found in CDKL5 (n = 3) and STXBP1 (n = 3), 3 microdeletions (10 Mb in 2q24.3, 3.2 Mb in 5q14.3 including the region upstream to MEF2C, and 256 kb in 9q34 disrupting EHMT1), and 2 microduplications (671 kb in 2q24.3 encompassing SCN2A, and 11.93 Mb in Xq28). In addition, we discuss 3 CNVs as potential risk factors, including one 16p12.1 deletion, one intronic deletion of the NEDD4 gene, and one intronic deletion of CALN1 gene. The present findings highlight the efficacy of combined cytogenetic and targeted mutation screening to improve the diagnostic yield in patient with ISs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmg.2014.11.007DOI Listing
February 2015

Functional connectivity of insular efferences.

Hum Brain Mapp 2014 Oct 19;35(10):5279-94. Epub 2014 May 19.

TIGER, Lyon's Neuroscience Research Centre, INSERM U1028, CNRS 5292, UCB Lyon 1, Lyon, France; Department of Sleep, Epilepsy and Pediatric Clinical Neurophysiology, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France; Department of Clinical Physiology, Neurophysiology Division, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman.

Objectives: The aim of our study was to explore the functional connectivity between the insula and other cortical regions, in human, using cortico-cortical evoked potentials (CCEPs)

Experimental Design: We performed intra-cerebral electrical stimulation in eleven patients with refractory epilepsy investigated with depth electrodes, including 39 targeting the insula. Electrical stimulation consisted of two series of 20 pulses of 1-ms duration, 0.2-Hz frequency, and 1-mA intensity delivered at each of the 39 insular bipoles. Rates of connectivity were reported whenever a noninsular cortical region was tested by at least ten stimulating/recording electrode pairs in three or more patients

Results: Significant CCEPs were elicited in 193 of the 578 (33%) tested connections, with an average latency of 33 ± 5 ms. The highest connectivity rates were observed with the nearby perisylvian structures (59%), followed by the pericentral cortex (38%), the temporal neocortex (28%), the lateral parietal cortex (26%), the orbitofrontal cortex (25%), the mesial temporal structures (24%), the dorsolateral frontal cortex (15%), the temporal pole (14%), and the mesial parietal cortex (11%). No connectivity was detected in the mesial frontal cortex or cingulate gyrus. The pattern of connectivity also differed between the five insular gyri, with greater connectivity rate for the posterior short gyrus (49%), than for the middle short (29%), and two long gyri (28 and 33%)

Conclusion: The human insula is characterized by a rich and complex connectivity that varies as a function of the insular gyrus and appears to partly differ from the efferences described in nonhuman primates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.22549DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6869741PMC
October 2014

DEPDC5 mutations in families presenting as autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy.

Neurology 2014 Jun 9;82(23):2101-6. Epub 2014 May 9.

From the Department of Neurology (F.P.), and Service of Genetic Medicine (S.E.A.), University Hospitals of Geneva; Department of Genetic Medicine and Development (P.M.), and iGE3, Institute of Genetics and Genomics of Geneva (S.E.A.), University of Geneva, Switzerland; Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM) (V.N., S.I., C.D., I.A.-G., M.V., M.B., E.L., S.B.), U1127, ICM, Paris, F-75013 Paris; Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR S 1127, F-75013 Paris (V.N., S.I., C.D., I.A.-G., M.V., M.B., E.L., S.B.), Paris; CNRS (V.N., S.I., C.D., I.A.-G., M.V., M.B., E.L., S.B.), UMR7225, Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris; Epilepsy Unit (V.N., I.A.-G., M.V., M.B.), ICM, Paris, F-75013 Paris, France (V.N., S.I., C.D., I.A.-G., M.V., M.B., E.L., S.B.), and Département de Génétique et de Cytogénétique (C.D., E.L.), AP-HP Groupe hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris; Epilepsy, Sleep and Pediatric Neurophysiology (J.d.B.), University Hospitals of Lyon; Hospices Civils de Lyon (D.V.), HFME, centre de référence déficiences intellectuelles de causes rares et sclérose tubéreuse de Bourneville, Bron, France; Neurogenetics Group (S.W., A.S., P.D.J.), Department of Molecular Genetics, VIB, Antwerp; Laboratory of Neurogenetics (S.W., A.S., P.D.J.), Institute Born-Bunge, University of Antwerp, Belgium; Epilepsy Centre Kempenhaeghe (S.W.), Oosterhout, the Netherlands; Algemeen Stedelijk Ziekenhuis (E.F.), Aalst; Division of Neurology (P.D.J.), Antwerp University Hospital, Antwerp University, Belgium; Centre hospitalier général de Valence (M.V.R.); Department of Medical Genetics (G.L.), Hospices Civils de Lyon; Claude Bernard Lyon I University (G.L.); CRNL (G.L.), CNRS UMR 5292, INSERM U1028, Lyon; Centre de référence épilepsies rares et Sclérose tubéreuse de Bourneville (I.A.-G., M.B.); Genotyping and Sequencing Platform, ICM (E.M.), and DNA and Cell Bank (P.C.), Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France; Department of Surge

Objective: To study the prevalence of DEPDC5 mutations in a series of 30 small European families with a phenotype compatible with autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (ADNFLE).

Methods: Thirty unrelated families referred with ADNFLE were recruited in France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and Norway. Whole-exome sequencing was performed in 10 probands and direct sequencing of the DEPDC5 coding sequence in 20 probands. Testing for nonsense-mediated messenger RNA decay (NMD) was performed in lymphoblastic cells.

Results: Exome sequencing revealed a splice acceptor mutation (c.2355-2A>G) in DEPDC5 in the proband of a German family. In addition, 3 nonsense DEPDC5 mutations (p.Arg487*, p.Arg1087*, and p.Trp1369*) were detected in the probands of 2 French and one Belgian family. The nonsense mutations p.Arg487* and p.Arg1087* were targeted by NMD, leading to the degradation of the mutated transcripts. At the clinical level, 78% of the patients with DEPDC5 mutations were drug resistant.

Conclusions: DEPDC5 loss-of-function mutations were found in 13% of the families with a presentation of ADNFLE. The rate of drug resistance was high in patients with DEPDC5 mutations. Small ADNFLE pedigrees with DEPDC5 mutations might actually represent a part of the broader familial focal epilepsy with variable foci phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000000488DOI Listing
June 2014

White matter development in children with benign childhood epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes.

Brain 2014 Apr 4;137(Pt 4):1095-106. Epub 2014 Mar 4.

1 INSERM U1028, CNRS UMR5292, Centre de Recherche en Neuroscience de Lyon, Translational and Integrative Group in Epilepsy Research (TIGER), Université Lyon-1, Lyon, France.

Benign childhood epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes (BCECTS) is a unique form of non-lesional age-dependent epilepsy with rare seizures, focal electroencepalographic abnormalities affecting the same well delineated cortical region in most patients, and frequent mild to moderate cognitive dysfunctions. In this condition, it is hypothesized that interictal electroencepalographic discharges might interfere with local brain maturation, resulting in altered cognition. Diffusion tensor imaging allows testing of this hypothesis by investigating the white matter microstructure, and has previously proved sensitive to epilepsy-related alterations of fractional anisotropy and diffusivity. However, no diffusion tensor imaging study has yet been performed with a focus on BCECTS. We investigated 25 children suffering from BCECTS and 25 age-matched control subjects using diffusion tensor imaging, 3D-T1 magnetic resonance imaging, and a battery of neuropsychological tests including Conner's scale and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (fourth revision). Electroencephalography was also performed in all patients within 2 months of the magnetic resonance imaging assessment. Parametric maps of fractional anisotropy, mean-, radial-, and axial diffusivity were extracted from diffusion tensor imaging data. Patients were compared with control subjects using voxel-based statistics and family-wise error correction for multiple comparisons. Each patient was also compared to control subjects. Fractional anisotropy and diffusivity images were correlated to neuropsychological and clinical variables. Group analysis showed significantly reduced fractional anisotropy and increased diffusivity in patients compared with control subjects, predominantly over the left pre- and postcentral gyri and ipsilateral to the electroencephalographic focus. At the individual level, regions of significant differences were observed in 10 patients (40%) for anisotropy (eight reduced fractional anisotropy, one increased fractional anisotropy, one both), and 17 (56%) for diffusivity (13 increased, one reduced, three both). There were significant negative correlations between fractional anisotropy maps and duration of epilepsy in the precentral gyri, bilaterally, and in the left postcentral gyrus. Accordingly, 9 of 12 patients (75%) with duration of epilepsy>12 months showed significantly reduced fractional anisotropy versus none of the 13 patients with duration of epilepsy≤12 months. Diffusivity maps positively correlated with duration of epilepsy in the cuneus. Children with BCECTS demonstrate alterations in the microstructure of the white matter, undetectable with conventional magnetic resonance imaging, predominating over the regions displaying chronic interictal epileptiform discharges. The association observed between diffusion tensor imaging changes, duration of epilepsy and cognitive performance appears compatible with the hypothesis that interictal epileptic activity alters brain maturation, which could in turn lead to cognitive dysfunction. However, such cross-sectional association does not demonstrate causality, and other hitherto unidentified factors could represent the common cause to part or all of the observed findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awu039DOI Listing
April 2014

A subset of genomic alterations detected in rolandic epilepsies contains candidate or known epilepsy genes including GRIN2A and PRRT2.

Epilepsia 2014 Feb 24;55(2):370-8. Epub 2013 Dec 24.

Department of Genetics, Lyon University Hospital, Lyon, France; Claude Bernard Lyon I University, Lyon, France; CRNL, CNRS UMR 5292, INSERM U1028, Lyon, France.

Objectives: Rolandic epilepsies (REs) represent the most frequent epilepsy in childhood. Patients may experience cognitive, speech, language, reading, and behavioral issues. The genetic origin of REs has long been debated. The participation of rare copy number variations (CNVs) in the pathophysiology of various human epilepsies has been increasingly recognized. However, no systematic search for microdeletions or microduplications has been reported in RE so far.

Methods: Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) were used to analyze the genomic status of a series of 47 unrelated RE patients who displayed various types of electroclinical manifestations.

Results: Thirty rare CNVs were detected in 21 RE patients. Two CNVs were de novo, 12 were inherited, and 16 were of unknown inheritance. Each CNV was unique to one given patient, except for a 16p11.2 duplication found in two patients. The CNVs of highest interest comprised or disrupted strong candidate or confirmed genes for epileptic and other neurodevelopmental disorders, including BRWD3, GRIN2A, KCNC3, PRKCE, PRRT2, SHANK1, and TSPAN7.

Significance: Patients with REs showed rare microdeletions and microduplications with high frequency and heterogeneity. Whereas only a subset of all genomic alterations found here may actually participate in the phenotype, the novel de novo events as well as several inherited CNVs contain or disrupt genes, some of which are likely to influence the emergence, the presentation, or the comorbidity of RE. The future screening of cohorts of larger size will help in detecting more de novo or recurrent events and in appreciating the possible enrichment of specific CNVs in patients with RE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.12502DOI Listing
February 2014

Intrainsular functional connectivity in human.

Hum Brain Mapp 2014 Jun 12;35(6):2779-88. Epub 2013 Sep 12.

Translational and Integrative Group in Epilepsy Research (TIGER), Lyon's Neuroscience Research Centre, INSERM U1028, CNRS 5292, UCB Lyon 1, Lyon, France; Pediatric Epilepsy Department, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France; Department of Clinical Physiology, Neurophysiology division, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman.

Objectives: The anatomical organization of the insular cortex is characterized by its rich and heterogeneous cytoarchitecture and its wide network of connections. However, only limited knowledge is available regarding the intrainsular connections subserving the complex integrative role of the insular cortex. The aim of this study was to analyze the functional connectivity within- and across-insular subregions, at both gyral and functional levels.

Experimental Design: We performed intracerebral electrical stimulation in 10 patients with refractory epilepsy investigated with depth electrodes, 38 of which were inserted in the insula. Bipolar electrical stimulation, consisting of two series of 20 pulses of 1-ms duration, 0.2-Hz frequency, and 1-mA intensity, was delivered at each insular contact. For each stimulated insular anatomical region, we calculated a rate of connectivity, reflecting the proportion of other insular contacts, showing significant evoked potentials.

Results: Statistically significant evoked potentials were recorded in 74% of tested connections, with an average latency of 26 ± 3 ms. All insular gyri were interconnected, except the anterior and posterior short gyri. Most connections were reciprocal, showing no clear anterior to posterior directionality. No connection was observed between the right and the left insula.

Conclusions: These findings point to specific features of human insula connectivity as compared to non-Human primates, and remain consistent with the complex integration role devoted to the human insula in many cognitive domains. Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.22366DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6869822PMC
June 2014
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