Publications by authors named "Sanjay M Sisodiya"

250 Publications

Cortical and Subcortical Network Dysfunction in a Female Patient With Encephalopathy.

Front Neurol 2021 9;12:722664. Epub 2021 Sep 9.

Department of Biomedical, Metabolic, and Neural Science, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

The developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEE) are the most severe group of epilepsies. Recently, mutations have been shown to cause a DEE in females, characterized by myoclonic-atonic epilepsy and recurrent nonconvulsive status. Here we used advanced neuroimaging techniques in a patient with a novel mutation presenting with recurrent absence status with eyelid myoclonia, to reveal brain structural and functional changes that can bring the clinical phenotype to alteration within specific brain networks. Indeed, the alterations found in the patient involved the visual pericalcarine cortex and the middle frontal gyrus, regions that have been demonstrated to be a core feature in epilepsy phenotypes with visual sensitivity and eyelid myoclonia with absences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.722664DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8459922PMC
September 2021

The impact of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in Dravet syndrome: A UK survey.

Epilepsy Behav 2021 Aug 21;124:108258. Epub 2021 Aug 21.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3BG, UK; Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy, Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire SL9 0RJ, UK. Electronic address:

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic led to the urgent need for accelerated vaccine development. Approved vaccines have proved to be safe and well tolerated across millions of people in the general population. Dravet syndrome (DS) is a severe, early onset, developmental and epileptic encephalopathy. Vaccination is a precipitating factor for seizures. While there is no evidence that vaccine-precipitated seizures lead to adverse outcomes in people with DS, fear surrounding vaccination can remain for caregivers of people with DS, in some cases resulting in rejection of recommended vaccinations, leaving individuals more vulnerable to the relevant infections. A greater understanding of the safety profile of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination in this vulnerable group will help provide guidance for caregivers and clinicians when considering vaccination.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey regarding COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, in people with DS, was conducted by Dravet Syndrome UK (DSUK). Concomitantly, a review of individuals with DS who had recently received the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, and who are resident at the Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy (CCE), or attend epilepsy clinics at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), was undertaken.

Results: Thirty-eight people completed the DSUK survey. Thirty-seven percent of caregivers reported being concerned about someone with DS receiving the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine; with some reporting that they would decline a vaccine when offered. Seventy-seven percent had not received any advice from a healthcare professional about the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. 18/38 were eligible for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, of whom nine had received their first vaccine dose. Combining the results of the DSUK survey and the review of individuals monitored at CCE or NHNN, fifteen people with DS had received their first dose of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. 11/15 (73%) reported at least one side effect, the most common being fatigue (6/15; 40%) and fever (6/15; 40%). Three individuals (20%) reported an increase in seizure frequency after the first vaccine dose. No increase in seizure frequency or duration was reported after the second dose.

Conclusion: Overall, these results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are safe and well tolerated in individuals with DS, as they are in most people without DS. In most people with DS, SARS-CoV-2 vaccine does not appear to be associated with an increase in the frequency or duration of seizures, even in those who develop fever post-vaccination. Many caregivers are concerned about a person with DS receiving a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, with some reporting that they would decline a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine when offered. It is crucial that healthcare professionals are proactive in providing accurate information regarding the risks and benefits of vaccination in this population, given the potential for serious outcomes from infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2021.108258DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8379095PMC
August 2021

Carbon emission savings and short-term health care impacts from telemedicine: An evaluation in epilepsy.

Epilepsia 2021 Aug 31. Epub 2021 Aug 31.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, UK.

Objective: Health systems make a sizeable contribution to national emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change. The UK National Health Service is committed to being a net zero emitter by 2040, and a potential contribution to this target could come from reductions in patient travel. Achieving this will require actions at many levels. We sought to determine potential savings and risks over the short term from telemedicine through virtual clinics.

Methods: During the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-2-CoV) pandemic, scheduled face-to-face epilepsy clinics at a specialist site were replaced by remote teleclinics. We used a standard methodology applying conversion factors to calculate emissions based on the total saved travel distance. A further conversion factor was used to derive emissions associated with electricity consumption to deliver remote clinics from which net savings could be calculated. Patients' records and clinicians were interrogated to identify any adverse clinical outcomes.

Results: We found that enforced telemedicine delivery for over 1200 patients resulted in the saving of ~224 000 km of travel with likely avoided emissions in the range of 35 000-40 000 kg carbon dioxide equivalent (CO e) over a six and half month period. Emissions arising directly from remote delivery were calculated to be <200 kg CO e (~0.5% of those for travel), representing a significant net reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Only one direct adverse outcome was identified, with some additional benefits identified anecdotally.

Significance: The use of telemedicine can make a contribution toward reduced emissions in the health care sector and, in the delivery of specialized epilepsy services, had minimal adverse clinical outcomes over the short term. However, these outcomes will likely vary with clinic locations, medical specialties and conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.17046DOI Listing
August 2021

A systems-level analysis highlights microglial activation as a modifying factor in common epilepsies.

Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 2021 Aug 13. Epub 2021 Aug 13.

Neuroscience Research Center, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University "Magna Graecia" of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy.

Aims: The causes of distinct patterns of reduced cortical thickness in the common human epilepsies, detectable on neuroimaging and with important clinical consequences, are unknown. We investigated the underlying mechanisms of cortical thinning using a systems-level analysis.

Methods: Imaging-based cortical structural maps from a large-scale epilepsy neuroimaging study were overlaid with highly spatially resolved human brain gene expression data from the Allen Human Brain Atlas. Cell-type deconvolution, differential expression analysis and cell-type enrichment analyses were used to identify differences in cell-type distribution. These differences were followed up in post-mortem brain tissue from humans with epilepsy using Iba1 immunolabelling. Furthermore, to investigate a causal effect in cortical thinning, cell-type-specific depletion was used in a murine model of acquired epilepsy.

Results: We identified elevated fractions of microglia and endothelial cells in regions of reduced cortical thickness. Differentially expressed genes showed enrichment for microglial markers and, in particular, activated microglial states. Analysis of post-mortem brain tissue from humans with epilepsy confirmed excess activated microglia. In the murine model, transient depletion of activated microglia during the early phase of the disease development prevented cortical thinning and neuronal cell loss in the temporal cortex. Although the development of chronic seizures was unaffected, the epileptic mice with early depletion of activated microglia did not develop deficits in a non-spatial memory test seen in epileptic mice not depleted of microglia.

Conclusions: These convergent data strongly implicate activated microglia in cortical thinning, representing a new dimension for concern and disease modification in the epilepsies, potentially distinct from seizure control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nan.12758DOI Listing
August 2021

Delineating the molecular and phenotypic spectrum of the SETD1B-related syndrome.

Genet Med 2021 Aug 3. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, UK.

Purpose: Pathogenic variants in SETD1B have been associated with a syndromic neurodevelopmental disorder including intellectual disability, language delay, and seizures. To date, clinical features have been described for 11 patients with (likely) pathogenic SETD1B sequence variants. This study aims to further delineate the spectrum of the SETD1B-related syndrome based on characterizing an expanded patient cohort.

Methods: We perform an in-depth clinical characterization of a cohort of 36 unpublished individuals with SETD1B sequence variants, describing their molecular and phenotypic spectrum. Selected variants were functionally tested using in vitro and genome-wide methylation assays.

Results: Our data present evidence for a loss-of-function mechanism of SETD1B variants, resulting in a core clinical phenotype of global developmental delay, language delay including regression, intellectual disability, autism and other behavioral issues, and variable epilepsy phenotypes. Developmental delay appeared to precede seizure onset, suggesting SETD1B dysfunction impacts physiological neurodevelopment even in the absence of epileptic activity. Males are significantly overrepresented and more severely affected, and we speculate that sex-linked traits could affect susceptibility to penetrance and the clinical spectrum of SETD1B variants.

Conclusion: Insights from this extensive cohort will facilitate the counseling regarding the molecular and phenotypic landscape of newly diagnosed patients with the SETD1B-related syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01246-2DOI Listing
August 2021

Artificial intelligence for classification of temporal lobe epilepsy with ROI-level MRI data: A worldwide ENIGMA-Epilepsy study.

Neuroimage Clin 2021 24;31:102765. Epub 2021 Jul 24.

Institute for Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany; Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Pediatric and Neuroradiology, University Medical Centre Rostock, Rostock, Germany.

Artificial intelligence has recently gained popularity across different medical fields to aid in the detection of diseases based on pathology samples or medical imaging findings. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a key assessment tool for patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). The role of machine learning and artificial intelligence to increase detection of brain abnormalities in TLE remains inconclusive. We used support vector machine (SV) and deep learning (DL) models based on region of interest (ROI-based) structural (n = 336) and diffusion (n = 863) brain MRI data from patients with TLE with ("lesional") and without ("non-lesional") radiographic features suggestive of underlying hippocampal sclerosis from the multinational (multi-center) ENIGMA-Epilepsy consortium. Our data showed that models to identify TLE performed better or similar (68-75%) compared to models to lateralize the side of TLE (56-73%, except structural-based) based on diffusion data with the opposite pattern seen for structural data (67-75% to diagnose vs. 83% to lateralize). In other aspects, structural and diffusion-based models showed similar classification accuracies. Our classification models for patients with hippocampal sclerosis were more accurate (68-76%) than models that stratified non-lesional patients (53-62%). Overall, SV and DL models performed similarly with several instances in which SV mildly outperformed DL. We discuss the relative performance of these models with ROI-level data and the implications for future applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence in epilepsy care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102765DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8346685PMC
September 2021

Large-scale collaboration in ENIGMA-EEG: A perspective on the meta-analytic approach to link neurological and psychiatric liability genes to electrophysiological brain activity.

Brain Behav 2021 08 21;11(8):e02188. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

Background And Purpose: The ENIGMA-EEG working group was established to enable large-scale international collaborations among cohorts that investigate the genetics of brain function measured with electroencephalography (EEG). In this perspective, we will discuss why analyzing the genetics of functional brain activity may be crucial for understanding how neurological and psychiatric liability genes affect the brain.

Methods: We summarize how we have performed our currently largest genome-wide association study of oscillatory brain activity in EEG recordings by meta-analyzing the results across five participating cohorts, resulting in the first genome-wide significant hits for oscillatory brain function located in/near genes that were previously associated with psychiatric disorders. We describe how we have tackled methodological issues surrounding genetic meta-analysis of EEG features. We discuss the importance of harmonizing EEG signal processing, cleaning, and feature extraction. Finally, we explain our selection of EEG features currently being investigated, including the temporal dynamics of oscillations and the connectivity network based on synchronization of oscillations.

Results: We present data that show how to perform systematic quality control and evaluate how choices in reference electrode and montage affect individual differences in EEG parameters.

Conclusion: The long list of potential challenges to our large-scale meta-analytic approach requires extensive effort and organization between participating cohorts; however, our perspective shows that these challenges are surmountable. Our perspective argues that elucidating the genetic of EEG oscillatory activity is a worthwhile effort in order to elucidate the pathway from gene to disease liability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.2188DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8413828PMC
August 2021

Postictal Psychosis in Epilepsy: A Clinicogenetic Study.

Ann Neurol 2021 Sep 3;90(3):464-476. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, UK.

Objective: Psychoses affecting people with epilepsy increase disease burden and diminish quality of life. We characterized postictal psychosis, which comprises about one quarter of epilepsy-related psychoses, and has unknown causation.

Methods: We conducted a case-control cohort study including patients diagnosed with postictal psychosis, confirmed by psychiatric assessment, with available data regarding epilepsy, treatment, psychiatric history, psychosis profile, and outcomes. After screening 3,288 epilepsy patients, we identified 83 with psychosis; 49 had postictal psychosis. Controls were 98 adults, matched by age and epilepsy type, with no history of psychosis. Logistic regression was used to investigate clinical factors associated with postictal psychosis; univariate associations with a p value < 0.20 were used to build a multivariate model. Polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia were calculated.

Results: Cases were more likely to have seizure clustering (odds ratio [OR] = 7.59, p < 0.001), seizures with a recollected aura (OR = 2.49, p = 0.013), and a family history of psychiatric disease (OR = 5.17, p = 0.022). Cases showed predominance of right temporal epileptiform discharges (OR = 4.87, p = 0.007). There was no difference in epilepsy duration, neuroimaging findings, or antiseizure treatment between cases and controls. Polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia in an extended cohort of postictal psychosis cases (n = 58) were significantly higher than in 1,366 epilepsy controls (R  = 3%, p = 6 × 10 ), but not significantly different from 945 independent patients with schizophrenia (R  = 0.1%, p = 0.775).

Interpretation: Postictal psychosis occurs under particular circumstances in people with epilepsy with a heightened genetic predisposition to schizophrenia, illustrating how disease biology (seizures) and trait susceptibility (schizophrenia) may interact to produce particular outcomes (postictal psychosis) in a common disease. ANN NEUROL 2021;90:464-476.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.26174DOI Listing
September 2021

Late diagnoses of Dravet syndrome: How many individuals are we missing?

Epilepsia Open 2021 Jul 16. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, UK.

We report new genetic diagnoses of Dravet syndrome in a group of adults with complex epilepsy of unknown cause, under follow-up at a tertiary epilepsy center. Individuals with epilepsy and other features of unknown cause from our unit underwent whole-genome sequencing through the 100 000 Genomes Project. Virtual gene panels were applied to frequency-filtered variants based on phenotype summary. Of 1078 individuals recruited, 8 (0.74%) were identified to have a pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant in SCN1A. Variant types were as follows: nonsense (stopgain) in five (62.5%) and missense in three (37.5%). Detailed review of childhood history confirmed a phenotype compatible with Dravet syndrome. Median age at genetic diagnosis was 44.5 years (range 28-52 years). Tonic-clonic seizures were ongoing in all despite polytherapy including valproate. All had a history of fever sensitivity and myoclonic seizures, which were ongoing in two (25%) and three (37.5%) individuals, respectively. Salient features of Dravet syndrome may be less apparent in adulthood, making clinical diagnosis difficult. Regardless of age, benefits of a genetic diagnosis include access to syndrome-specific treatment options, avoidance of harmful drugs, and monitoring for common complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/epi4.12525DOI Listing
July 2021

Increased facial asymmetry in focal epilepsies associated with unilateral lesions.

Brain Commun 2021 19;3(2):fcab068. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London.

The epilepsies are now conceptualized as network disruptions: focal epilepsies are considered to have network alterations in the hemisphere of seizure onset, whilst generalized epilepsies are considered to have bi-hemispheric network changes. Increasingly, many epilepsies are also considered to be neurodevelopmental disorders, with early changes in the brain underpinning seizure biology. The development of the structure of the face is influenced by complex molecular interactions between surface ectoderm and underlying developing forebrain and neural crest cells. This influence is likely to continue postnatally, given the evidence of facial growth changes over time in humans until at least 18 years of age. In this case-control study, we hypothesized that people with lateralized focal epilepsies (i.e. unilateral network changes) have an increased degree of facial asymmetry, compared with people with generalized epilepsies or controls without epilepsy. We applied three-dimensional stereophotogrammetry and dense surface models to evaluate facial asymmetry in people with epilepsy, aiming to generate new tools to explore pathophysiological mechanisms in epilepsy. We analysed neuroimaging data to explore the correlation between face and brain asymmetry. We consecutively recruited 859 people with epilepsy attending the epilepsy clinics at a tertiary referral centre. We used dense surface modelling of the full face and signature analyses of three-dimensional facial photographs to analyse facial differences between 378 cases and 205 healthy controls. Neuroimaging around the time of the facial photograph was available for 234 cases. We computed the brain asymmetry index between contralateral regions. Cases with focal symptomatic epilepsy associated with unilateral lesions showed greater facial asymmetry compared to controls (=0.0001, two-sample -test). This finding was confirmed by linear regression analysis after controlling for age and gender. We also found a significant correlation between duration of illness and the brain asymmetry index of total average cortical thickness ( = -0.19,  = 0.0075) but not for total average surface area ( = 0.06,  = 0.3968). There was no significant correlation between facial asymmetry and asymmetry of regional cortical thickness or surface area. We propose that the greater facial asymmetry in cases with focal epilepsy caused by unilateral abnormality might be explained by early unilateral network disruption, and that this is independent of underlying brain asymmetry. Three-dimensional stereophotogrammetry and dense surface modelling are a novel powerful phenotyping tool in epilepsy that may permit greater understanding of pathophysiology in epilepsy, and generate further insights into the development of cerebral networks underlying epilepsy, and the genetics of facial and neural development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcab068DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8244637PMC
April 2021

The ENIGMA Toolbox: multiscale neural contextualization of multisite neuroimaging datasets.

Nat Methods 2021 07;18(7):698-700

Multimodal Imaging and Connectome Analysis Laboratory, McConnell Brain Imaging Centre, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41592-021-01186-4DOI Listing
July 2021

Role of Common Genetic Variants for Drug-Resistance to Specific Anti-Seizure Medications.

Front Pharmacol 2021 9;12:688386. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Neurology and Epileptology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Resistance to anti-seizure medications (ASMs) presents a significant hurdle in the treatment of people with epilepsy. Genetic markers for resistance to individual ASMs could support clinicians to make better-informed choices for their patients. In this study, we aimed to elucidate whether the response to individual ASMs was associated with common genetic variation. A cohort of 3,649 individuals of European descent with epilepsy was deeply phenotyped and underwent single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-genotyping. We conducted genome-wide association analyses (GWASs) on responders to specific ASMs or groups of functionally related ASMs, using non-responders as controls. We performed a polygenic risk score (PRS) analyses based on risk variants for epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders and ASM resistance itself to delineate the polygenic burden of ASM-specific drug resistance. We identified several potential regions of interest but did not detect genome-wide significant loci for ASM-specific response. We did not find polygenic risk for epilepsy, neuropsychiatric disorders, and drug-resistance associated with drug response to specific ASMs or mechanistically related groups of ASMs. This study could not ascertain the predictive value of common genetic variants for ASM responder status. The identified suggestive loci will need replication in future studies of a larger scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.688386DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8220970PMC
June 2021

Two-center experience of cannabidiol use in adults with Dravet syndrome.

Seizure 2021 Oct 24;91:5-8. Epub 2021 May 24.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, Box 29, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK; Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy, Chalfont St Peter, UK.

We describe real-world experience with cannabidiol (CBD) in adults with Dravet Syndrome (DS) via GW Pharma early access programme at two UK neurology centres. Adults with genetically-confirmed DS had CBD added to existing therapy, titrated up to 20 mg/kg, as tolerated. The primary outcome measure was percentage reduction in convulsive seizures. Secondary outcome measures included changes in myoclonic seizures, and in cognition and quality of life as assessed by the Caregiver Global Impression of Change (CGIC), and incidence of adverse events (AEs). 18 adults (7 female; median age 27.5 years; range 20-51) were included. Median follow-up was 176 days. In one, another antiseizure drug, clobazam, was introduced during the programme. 3/17 (17.6%) had >30% reduction in convulsive seizures (range: 87.5-100%). AEs occurred in all, the most common being transaminitis (52.9%). Behavioural AEs led to discontinuation in 3/18 (16.7%), including a seizure-free responder. In 7/18, CBD was stopped due to lack of effect. 8/18 continue on treatment. Improvements in CGIC were reported in 41.2% and 47.1% by physicians and families, respectively. 17.6% achieved sufficient reduction in convulsive seizure frequency to qualify for NHS funding. AEs led to withdrawal in only 16.7%. Close monitoring and dose adjustments of other antiseizure drugs were necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2021.05.014DOI Listing
October 2021

SUDEP: Advances and Challenges.

Epilepsy Curr 2020 Nov-Dec;20(6 Suppl):29S-31S. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Departments of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, WC1N 3BG, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1535759720947438DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7726723PMC
October 2020

Assessing the role of rare genetic variants in drug-resistant, non-lesional focal epilepsy.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2021 07 21;8(7):1376-1387. Epub 2021 May 21.

Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada.

Objective: Resistance to antiseizure medications (ASMs) is one of the major concerns in the treatment of epilepsy. Despite the increasing number of ASMs available, the proportion of individuals with drug-resistant epilepsy remains unchanged. In this study, we aimed to investigate the role of rare genetic variants in ASM resistance.

Methods: We performed exome sequencing of 1,128 individuals with non-familial non-acquired focal epilepsy (NAFE) (762 non-responders, 366 responders) and were provided with 1,734 healthy controls. We undertook replication in a cohort of 350 individuals with NAFE (165 non-responders, 185 responders). We performed gene-based and gene-set-based kernel association tests to investigate potential enrichment of rare variants in relation to drug response status and to risk for NAFE.

Results: We found no gene or gene set that reached genome-wide significance. Yet, we identified several prospective candidate genes - among them DEPDC5, which showed a potential association with resistance to ASMs. We found some evidence for an enrichment of truncating variants in dominant familial NAFE genes in our cohort of non-familial NAFE and in association with drug-resistant NAFE.

Interpretation: Our study identifies potential candidate genes for ASM resistance. Our results corroborate the role of rare variants for non-familial NAFE and imply their involvement in drug-resistant epilepsy. Future large-scale genetic research studies are needed to substantiate these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.51374DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8283173PMC
July 2021

Real-life survey of pitfalls and successes of precision medicine in genetic epilepsies.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2021 Oct 26;92(10):1044-1052. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, and Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy, Gerrard Cross, UK

Objective: The term 'precision medicine' describes a rational treatment strategy tailored to one person that reverses or modifies the disease pathophysiology. In epilepsy, single case and small cohort reports document nascent precision medicine strategies in specific genetic epilepsies. The aim of this multicentre observational study was to investigate the deeper complexity of precision medicine in epilepsy.

Methods: A systematic survey of patients with epilepsy with a molecular genetic diagnosis was conducted in six tertiary epilepsy centres including children and adults. A standardised questionnaire was used for data collection, including genetic findings and impact on clinical and therapeutic management.

Results: We included 293 patients with genetic epilepsies, 137 children and 156 adults, 162 females and 131 males. Treatment changes were undertaken because of the genetic findings in 94 patients (32%), including rational precision medicine treatment and/or a treatment change prompted by the genetic diagnosis, but not directly related to known pathophysiological mechanisms. There was a rational precision medicine treatment for 56 patients (19%), and this was tried in 33/56 (59%) and was successful (ie, >50% seizure reduction) in 10/33 (30%) patients. In 73/293 (25%) patients there was a treatment change prompted by the genetic diagnosis, but not directly related to known pathophysiological mechanisms, and this was successful in 24/73 (33%).

Significance: Our survey of clinical practice in specialised epilepsy centres shows high variability of clinical outcomes following the identification of a genetic cause for an epilepsy. Meaningful change in the treatment paradigm after genetic testing is not yet possible for many people with epilepsy. This systematic survey provides an overview of the current application of precision medicine in the epilepsies, and suggests the adoption of a more considered approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2020-325932DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8458055PMC
October 2021

1q21.1 distal copy number variants are associated with cerebral and cognitive alterations in humans.

Transl Psychiatry 2021 03 22;11(1):182. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Low-frequency 1q21.1 distal deletion and duplication copy number variant (CNV) carriers are predisposed to multiple neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, autism and intellectual disability. Human carriers display a high prevalence of micro- and macrocephaly in deletion and duplication carriers, respectively. The underlying brain structural diversity remains largely unknown. We systematically called CNVs in 38 cohorts from the large-scale ENIGMA-CNV collaboration and the UK Biobank and identified 28 1q21.1 distal deletion and 22 duplication carriers and 37,088 non-carriers (48% male) derived from 15 distinct magnetic resonance imaging scanner sites. With standardized methods, we compared subcortical and cortical brain measures (all) and cognitive performance (UK Biobank only) between carrier groups also testing for mediation of brain structure on cognition. We identified positive dosage effects of copy number on intracranial volume (ICV) and total cortical surface area, with the largest effects in frontal and cingulate cortices, and negative dosage effects on caudate and hippocampal volumes. The carriers displayed distinct cognitive deficit profiles in cognitive tasks from the UK Biobank with intermediate decreases in duplication carriers and somewhat larger in deletion carriers-the latter potentially mediated by ICV or cortical surface area. These results shed light on pathobiological mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders, by demonstrating gene dose effect on specific brain structures and effect on cognitive function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01213-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7985307PMC
March 2021

Climate change and epilepsy: Insights from clinical and basic science studies.

Epilepsy Behav 2021 03 10;116:107791. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, WC1N 3BG, UK and Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy, Bucks, UK. Electronic address:

Climate change is with us. As professionals who place value on evidence-based practice, climate change is something we cannot ignore. The current pandemic of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has demonstrated how global crises can arise suddenly and have a significant impact on public health. Global warming, a chronic process punctuated by acute episodes of extreme weather events, is an insidious global health crisis needing at least as much attention. Many neurological diseases are complex chronic conditions influenced at many levels by changes in the environment. This review aimed to collate and evaluate reports from clinical and basic science about the relationship between climate change and epilepsy. The keywords climate change, seasonal variation, temperature, humidity, thermoregulation, biorhythm, gene, circadian rhythm, heat, and weather were used to search the published evidence. A number of climatic variables are associated with increased seizure frequency in people with epilepsy. Climate change-induced increase in seizure precipitants such as fevers, stress, and sleep deprivation (e.g. as a result of more frequent extreme weather events) or vector-borne infections may trigger or exacerbate seizures, lead to deterioration of seizure control, and affect neurological, cerebrovascular, or cardiovascular comorbidities and risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. Risks are likely to be modified by many factors, ranging from individual genetic variation and temperature-dependent channel function, to housing quality and global supply chains. According to the results of the limited number of experimental studies with animal models of seizures or epilepsy, different seizure types appear to have distinct susceptibility to seasonal influences. Increased body temperature, whether in the context of fever or not, has a critical role in seizure threshold and seizure-related brain damage. Links between climate change and epilepsy are likely to be multifactorial, complex, and often indirect, which makes predictions difficult. We need more data on possible climate-driven altered risks for seizures, epilepsy, and epileptogenesis, to identify underlying mechanisms at systems, cellular, and molecular levels for better understanding of the impact of climate change on epilepsy. Further focussed data would help us to develop evidence for mitigation methods to do more to protect people with epilepsy from the effects of climate change.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2021.107791DOI Listing
March 2021

The impact of COVID-19 in Dravet syndrome: A UK survey.

Acta Neurol Scand 2021 Apr 11;143(4):389-395. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, UK.

Objectives: To understand the risks, impact and outcome of COVID-19 in people affected by Dravet Syndrome (DS).

Materials And Methods: An anonymous cross-sectional online survey was conducted between June 17 and July 13, 2020, addressed to families of people with DS.

Results: A total of 116 responses were collected, from families of children (n = 86; 74%) and adults (30; 26%) with DS. The majority (106; 91%) were shielded at the family home during lockdown. Symptoms compatible with COVID-19 were reported in 22 (19%) individuals. Only four individuals with symptoms had a PCR swab test, none of which was positive. Only one symptomatic person had antibody testing (but not swab testing), which was positive. One person had repeatedly positive swab tests whilst in hospital for renal failure, but had no typical symptoms of COVID-19. In 50% of people with DS who developed possible or probable COVID-19 symptoms, seizure worsening was reported, in terms of increased seizure frequency or duration or both. Medical attention was required in 9/22 (41%), all of whom were children.

Conclusions: In this cohort of people with DS, we observed an infection rate, determined by compatible symptoms, of 19%, with no deaths and benign outcome in most cases despite the underlying complex epilepsy although children often required medical attention. Early adoption of preventative measures, including testing of symptomatic individuals, regular surveillance for people living in residential care facilities, and shielding of individuals with comorbidities increasing the risk of severe outcome, may limit the impact of COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ane.13405DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8013591PMC
April 2021

Mutations Expand the Phenotypic Spectrum of Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood.

Neurology 2021 03 27;96(11):e1539-e1550. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

From the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology (S.Z., S.K., L.H.-H., H.M.C., S.M.S.), London; Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy (S.Z., S.K., H.M.C., S.M.S.), Buckinghamshire; Department of Neurology (D.S., A.V., J.H.C., M.A.K.), Great Ormond Street Hospital; Clinical Neurosciences (A.V., J.H.C.), and Neurogenetics Group (D.S., M.A.K.), Developmental Neurosciences NIHR BRC UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London; School of Life Sciences (S.K.), Faculty of Science and Engineering, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK; Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology (K.M.G., M.D.K., B.J.L.), Children's Health Ireland at Temple Street, Dublin 1; School of Medicine and Medical Sciences (K.M.G., M.D.K.), University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland; Danish Epilepsy Centre (R.S.M., T.B.H.), Dianalund; Department of Regional Health Research (R.S.M.), University of Southern Denmark, Odense; Department of Paediatric Neurology (R.S., A.A.M., A.M.), Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, UK; Pediatric Neurology (W.F.), Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne; Institute of Human Genetics (T.B.), University of Leipzig Medical Center, Germany; Departement de Neuropediatrie (D.D.), Centre de Référence Neurogénetique Mouvements Anormaux, Hôpital Armand Trousseau, and Department of Genetics (B.K., C.M.), La Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, APHP, Sorbonne University, Paris; Centre de Référence Déficiences Intellectuelles de Causes Rares (C.M.); Departement de Pediatrie (N.B.), American Memorial Hospital, CHU Reims; CReSTIC (N.B.), University of Reims Champagne-Ardennes, France; University of Bristol (A.A.M.); Department of Haematology (A.S.-J.) and Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (F.L.R.), University of Cambridge; NIHR BioResource (A.S.-J., F.L.R.), Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Paediatric Neurology (A.B.), Great North Childrens Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne; Population Health Sciences Institute (A.B.), Newcastle University, UK; Applied & Translational Genomics Group (H.S., S.W.), VIB-Center for Molecular Neurology, University of Antwerp; and Department of Neurology (H.S., S.W.), University Hospital Antwerp, Belgium.

Objective: To explore the phenotypic spectrum of -related disorders and specifically to determine whether patients fulfill criteria for alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC), we report the clinical features of 11 affected individuals.

Methods: Individuals with -related disorders were identified through a movement disorder clinic at a specialist pediatric center, with additional cases identified through collaboration with other centers internationally. Clinical data were acquired through retrospective case-note review.

Results: Eleven affected patients were identified. All had heterozygous missense variants involving exon 9 of , confirmed as de novo in 9 cases. All had a complex motor phenotype, including at least 2 different kinds of movement disorder, e.g., ataxia and dystonia. Many patients demonstrated several features fulfilling the criteria for AHC: 10 patients had a movement disorder including paroxysmal elements, and 8 experienced hemiplegic episodes. In contrast to classic AHC, commonly caused by mutations in , these events were reported later only in mutation-positive patients from 20 months of age. Seven patients had epilepsy, but of these, 4 patients achieved seizure freedom. All patients had intellectual disability, usually moderate to severe. Other features include episodes of marked skin color change and gastrointestinal symptoms, each in 4 patients.

Conclusion: Although heterozygous mutations were originally described in early infantile epileptic encephalopathy type 64, our study confirms that they account for a more expansive clinical phenotype, including a complex polymorphic movement disorder with paroxysmal elements resembling AHC. testing should therefore be considered in patients with an AHC-like phenotype, particularly those negative for mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011543DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8032376PMC
March 2021

Structural brain imaging studies offer clues about the effects of the shared genetic etiology among neuropsychiatric disorders.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 06 17;26(6):2101-2110. Epub 2021 Jan 17.

Departments of Psychiatry and of Neuroscience and Physiology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA.

Genomewide association studies have found significant genetic correlations among many neuropsychiatric disorders. In contrast, we know much less about the degree to which structural brain alterations are similar among disorders and, if so, the degree to which such similarities have a genetic etiology. From the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) consortium, we acquired standardized mean differences (SMDs) in regional brain volume and cortical thickness between cases and controls. We had data on 41 brain regions for: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BD), epilepsy, major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and schizophrenia (SCZ). These data had been derived from 24,360 patients and 37,425 controls. The SMDs were significantly correlated between SCZ and BD, OCD, MDD, and ASD. MDD was positively correlated with BD and OCD. BD was positively correlated with OCD and negatively correlated with ADHD. These pairwise correlations among disorders were correlated with the corresponding pairwise correlations among disorders derived from genomewide association studies (r = 0.494). Our results show substantial similarities in sMRI phenotypes among neuropsychiatric disorders and suggest that these similarities are accounted for, in part, by corresponding similarities in common genetic variant architectures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-01002-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8440178PMC
June 2021

PIGF deficiency causes a phenotype overlapping with DOORS syndrome.

Hum Genet 2021 Jun 2;140(6):879-884. Epub 2021 Jan 2.

Department of Pediatrics, CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center, University of Montreal, 3175, Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montreal, QC, H3T 1C5, Canada.

DOORS syndrome is characterized by deafness, onychodystrophy, osteodystrophy, intellectual disability, and seizures. In this study, we report two unrelated individuals with DOORS syndrome without deafness. Exome sequencing revealed a homozygous missense variant in PIGF (NM_173074.3:c.515C>G, p.Pro172Arg) in both. We demonstrate impaired glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) biosynthesis through flow cytometry analysis. We thus describe the causal role of a novel disease gene, PIGF, in DOORS syndrome and highlight the overlap between this condition and GPI deficiency disorders. For each gene implicated in DOORS syndrome and/or inherited GPI deficiencies, there is considerable clinical variability so a high index of suspicion is warranted even though not all features are noted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00439-020-02251-2DOI Listing
June 2021

Clinical outcomes of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities for people with epilepsy.

Epilepsy Behav 2021 02 5;115:107602. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Department of Clinical & Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3BG, UK; Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy (CCE), Chalfont St Peter, Bucks SL9 0RJ, UK.

In this cohort study, we aim to compare outcomes from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in people with severe epilepsy and other co-morbidities living in long-term care facilities which all implemented early preventative measures, but different levels of surveillance. During 25-week observation period (16 March-6 September 2020), we included 404 residents (118 children), and 1643 caregivers. We compare strategies for infection prevention, control, and containment, and related outcomes, across four UK long-term care facilities. Strategies included early on-site enhancement of preventative and infection control measures, early identification and isolation of symptomatic cases, contact tracing, mass surveillance of asymptomatic cases and contacts. We measured infection rate among vulnerable people living in the facilities and their caregivers, with asymptomatic and symptomatic cases, including fatality rate. We report 38 individuals (17 residents) who tested severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-positive, with outbreaks amongst residents in two facilities. At Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy (CCE), 10/98 residents tested positive: two symptomatic (one died), eight asymptomatic on weekly enhanced surveillance; 2/275 caregivers tested positive: one symptomatic, one asymptomatic. At St Elizabeth's (STE), 7/146 residents tested positive: four symptomatic (one died), one positive during hospital admission for symptoms unrelated to COVID-19, two asymptomatic on one-off testing of all 146 residents; 106/601 symptomatic caregivers were tested, 13 positive. In addition, during two cycles of systematically testing all asymptomatic carers, four tested positive. At The Meath (TM), 8/80 residents were symptomatic but none tested; 26/250 caregivers were tested, two positive. At Young Epilepsy (YE), 8/80 children were tested, all negative; 22/517 caregivers were tested, one positive. Infection outbreaks in long-term care facilities for vulnerable people with epilepsy can be quickly contained, but only if asymptomatic individuals are identified through enhanced surveillance at resident and caregiver level. We observed a low rate of morbidity and mortality, which confirmed that preventative measures with isolation of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 residents can reduce resident-to-resident and resident-to-caregiver transmission. Children and young adults appear to have lower infection rates. Even in people with epilepsy and multiple co-morbidities, we observed a high percentage of asymptomatic people suggesting that epilepsy-related factors (anti-seizure medications and seizures) do not necessarily lead to poor outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2020.107602DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7643621PMC
February 2021

Network-based atrophy modeling in the common epilepsies: A worldwide ENIGMA study.

Sci Adv 2020 Nov 18;6(47). Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.

Epilepsy is increasingly conceptualized as a network disorder. In this cross-sectional mega-analysis, we integrated neuroimaging and connectome analysis to identify network associations with atrophy patterns in 1021 adults with epilepsy compared to 1564 healthy controls from 19 international sites. In temporal lobe epilepsy, areas of atrophy colocalized with highly interconnected cortical hub regions, whereas idiopathic generalized epilepsy showed preferential subcortical hub involvement. These morphological abnormalities were anchored to the connectivity profiles of distinct disease epicenters, pointing to temporo-limbic cortices in temporal lobe epilepsy and fronto-central cortices in idiopathic generalized epilepsy. Negative effects of age on atrophy further revealed a strong influence of connectome architecture in temporal lobe, but not idiopathic generalized, epilepsy. Our findings were reproduced across individual sites and single patients and were robust across different analytical methods. Through worldwide collaboration in ENIGMA-Epilepsy, we provided deeper insights into the macroscale features that shape the pathophysiology of common epilepsies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abc6457DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7673818PMC
November 2020

NEXMIF encephalopathy: an X-linked disorder with male and female phenotypic patterns.

Genet Med 2021 02 4;23(2):363-373. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Clinical Genomics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Purpose: Pathogenic variants in the X-linked gene NEXMIF (previously KIAA2022) are associated with intellectual disability (ID), autism spectrum disorder, and epilepsy. We aimed to delineate the female and male phenotypic spectrum of NEXMIF encephalopathy.

Methods: Through an international collaboration, we analyzed the phenotypes and genotypes of 87 patients with NEXMIF encephalopathy.

Results: Sixty-three females and 24 males (46 new patients) with NEXMIF encephalopathy were studied, with 30 novel variants. Phenotypic features included developmental delay/ID in 86/87 (99%), seizures in 71/86 (83%) and multiple comorbidities. Generalized seizures predominated including myoclonic seizures and absence seizures (both 46/70, 66%), absence with eyelid myoclonia (17/70, 24%), and atonic seizures (30/70, 43%). Males had more severe developmental impairment; females had epilepsy more frequently, and varied from unaffected to severely affected. All NEXMIF pathogenic variants led to a premature stop codon or were deleterious structural variants. Most arose de novo, although X-linked segregation occurred for both sexes. Somatic mosaicism occurred in two males and a family with suspected parental mosaicism.

Conclusion: NEXMIF encephalopathy is an X-linked, generalized developmental and epileptic encephalopathy characterized by myoclonic-atonic epilepsy overlapping with eyelid myoclonia with absence. Some patients have developmental encephalopathy without epilepsy. Males have more severe developmental impairment. NEXMIF encephalopathy arises due to loss-of-function variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-00988-9DOI Listing
February 2021

Complex epilepsy: it's all in the history.

Pract Neurol 2020 Oct 17. Epub 2020 Oct 17.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, UK

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/practneurol-2020-002522DOI Listing
October 2020

Moyamoya and progressive myoclonic epilepsy secondary to bi-allelic mutations - A previously unreported association.

Epilepsy Behav Rep 2020 31;14:100389. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK.

The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are a collection of lysosomal storage diseases characterised by the accumulation of characteristic inclusions containing lipofuscin in various tissues of the body and are one of the causes of progressive myoclonic epilepsy. Mutations in at least thirteen genes have been identified as causes of NCL, which can present as infantile, late-infantile, juvenile or adult forms. codes for an endoplasmic reticulum transmembrane protein of unknown function. Homozygous and compound heterozygous mutations of the gene are associated with both late-infantile (LINCL) and adult onset (ANCL) forms of NCL, including Kufs disease, comprising ANCL without associated visual loss. Moyamoya, a rare vasculopathy of the circle of Willis, has been reported in conjunction with a number of inflammatory and other diseases, as well as a handful of lysosomal storage diseases. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of Moyamoya in the context of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses or a -related disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebr.2020.100389DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7528204PMC
August 2020

Cardiac phenotype in -related syndromes: A multicenter cohort study.

Neurology 2020 11 10;95(21):e2866-e2879. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

From the Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy (S.B., S.M.S.), UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London; Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy (S.B., S.M.S.), Bucks, UK; Division of Pediatric Neurology (M.A.M., A.S.H., B.K., M.M., L.P.), Department of Neurobiology, and Division of Cardiology (M.C.), Department of Pediatrics, Duke University, School of Medicine, Durham, NC; Centre for Inherited Cardiovascular Diseases (R.A.G.-R., J.P.K.), Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust; Institute of Cardiovascular Science(R.A.G.-R., J.P.K.), University College London, London, UK; Child Neuropsychiatry Unit (E.D.G., A.G., L.P., M.S., E.V.), IRCCs Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Department of Neurosciences, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics and Maternal and Child Health, DINOG-MI, University of Genoa; Department of Pediatric Neuroscience (A.G., T.G., N.N., F.R.), Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta; Unit of Child Neuropsychiatry (L.P.), ASST Fatebenefratelli Sacco, Milan, Italy; Paediatric Neurology Department (J.C., C.F., L.P.-P., A.A.), Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona University, Member of the International Alternating Hemiplegia in Childhood Research Consortium IAHCRC and of the European Reference Network ERN EpiCARE, Barcelona, Spain; Department of Neurology (A.B., C.M.), Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC; Neurology Department (R.S.), Centro Hospitalar e Universitario do Porto-Hospital de Santo António, Porto, Portugal; Clinic for Child Neurology and Psychiatry (V.B., A.P.), Department of Child Neurology, Medical Faculty University of Belgrade, Serbia; Department of Human Genetics (Q.S.P.), Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, PA; Department of Pediatric Neurology (J.P.), Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland; Clinical Neurosciences (K.V., J.H.C.), Developmental Neuroscience Programme, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, Member of the International Alternating Hemiplegia in Childhood Research Consortium IAHCRC and of the European Reference Network ERN EpiCARE, London, UK; Sydney Children's Hospital (A.M.E.B.), Randwick; Department of Cardiology (A.M.D.), The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, University of Melbourne; Department of Neurology (M.M.R.), Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne; Agnes Ginges Centre for Molecular Cardiology (C.S.), Centenary Institute, University of Sydney; Epilepsy Research Centre (G.H., I.E.S.), Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Austin Health, Heidelberg, VIC; Department of Paediatrics (I.E.S.), University of Melbourne, Royal Children's Hospital, Florey and Murdoch Children's Research Institutes, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Clinical Epileptology, Sleep Disorders and Functional Neurology in Children (A.A., E.P.), University Hospitals of Lyon (HCL), Member of the International Alternating Hemiplegia in Childhood Research Consortium IAHCRC and of the European Reference Network ERN EpiCARE, Lyon, France; Paediatric Neurology Unit (I.C.), CMIN, Centro Hospitalar e Universitario Porto, Porto, Portugal; Clinical Neurophysiology Unit (C.Z.), IRCCS "E. Medea," Bosisio Parini (LC), Italy; Department of Neurology (J.N.), CHUV and Université de Lausanne, Switzerland; Second Department of Neurology (K.D.), Institute Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw, Poland; Association AHC18+ e. V. (Germany) and Polish Association for People Affected by AHC, ahc-pl (M.P.); Department of Developmental Neurology (M.M.B.), Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland; Neurology Department (S.W.), University Hospital Antwerp; Neurogenetics Group (S.W.), University Antwerp, Belgium; First Department of Pediatrics (R.P.), "Agia Sofia" Children Hospital, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece; Department of Neurology (S.G.), University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany; Ion Channel Research Unit (D.S.S.), Department of Medicine/Cardiology and Pharmacology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; Cardiovascular Research Institute (G.S.P.), Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY; The Heart Centre (A.T.), Queen Mary University of London; Department of Pathology (M.A.), Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust; Department of Neuropathology (Z.M., M.T.), Institute of Neurology, University College London, UK; and ICT and Data Analysis Section (R.V.), Euro-Mediterranean Institute of Science and Technology (I.E.ME.S.T.), Palermo, Italy.

Objective: To define the risks and consequences of cardiac abnormalities in -related syndromes.

Methods: Patients meeting clinical diagnostic criteria for rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism (RDP), alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC), and cerebellar ataxia, areflexia, pes cavus, optic atrophy, and sensorineural hearing loss (CAPOS) with genetic analysis and at least 1 cardiac assessment were included. We evaluated the cardiac phenotype in an knock-in mouse (Mashl) to determine the sequence of events in seizure-related cardiac death.

Results: Ninety-eight patients with AHC, 9 with RDP, and 3 with CAPOS (63 female, mean age 17 years) were included. Resting ECG abnormalities were found in 52 of 87 (60%) with AHC, 2 of 3 (67%) with CAPOS, and 6 of 9 (67%) with RDP. Serial ECGs showed dynamic changes in 10 of 18 patients with AHC. The first Holter ECG was abnormal in 24 of 65 (37%) cases with AHC and RDP with either repolarization or conduction abnormalities. Echocardiography was normal. Cardiac intervention was required in 3 of 98 (≈3%) patients with AHC. In the mouse model, resting ECGs showed intracardiac conduction delay; during induced seizures, heart block or complete sinus arrest led to death.

Conclusions: We found increased prevalence of ECG dynamic abnormalities in all -related syndromes, with a risk of life-threatening cardiac rhythm abnormalities equivalent to that in established cardiac channelopathies (≈3%). Sudden cardiac death due to conduction abnormality emerged as a seizure-related outcome in murine -related disease. -related syndromes are cardiac diseases and neurologic diseases. We provide guidance to identify patients potentially at higher risk of sudden cardiac death who may benefit from insertion of a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010794DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7734736PMC
November 2020
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