Publications by authors named "Tiziana Granata"

107 Publications

Anakinra usage in febrile infection related epilepsy syndrome: an international cohort.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2020 12 4;7(12):2467-2474. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA.

Febrile-infection related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES) is a devastating neurological condition characterized by a febrile illness preceding new onset refractory status epilepticus (NORSE). Increasing evidence suggests innate immune dysfunction as a potential pathological mechanism. We report an international retrospective cohort of 25 children treated with anakinra, a recombinant interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, as an immunomodulator for FIRES. Anakinra was potentially safe with only one child discontinuing therapy due to infection. Earlier anakinra initiation was associated with shorter duration of mechanical ventilation, ICU and hospital length of stay. Our retrospective data lay the groundwork for prospective consensus-driven cohort studies of anakinra in FIRES.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.51229DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7732241PMC
December 2020

Focal status and acute encephalopathy in a 13-year-old boy with de novo DNM1L mutation: Video-polygraphic pattern and clues for differential diagnosis.

Brain Dev 2021 Jan 20. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Department of Critical Care, IRCCS Giannina Gaslini, Genova, Italy.

Background: Pathogenic variants in the dynamin 1 like gene are related to abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and distributions and are associated to variable clinical phenotypes. A few patients harboring the p.Arg403Cys missense variant appears to be different from the classical, more severe phenotypes, showing sudden onset of drug resistant seizures after a previously normal or slightly delayed development.

Case Report: We report on a boy with abrupt onset of focal status and coma at the age of 13, initially treated as autoimmune encephalitis, with final diagnosis of de novo missense p.Arg403Cys variant in the DNM1L gene.

Discussion: We compare his clinical, electrophysiological, biochemical, neuroradiological and histopathological picture to the rare cases reported to date and provide diagnostic clues that can help clinicians in differentiate p.Arg403Cys-related phenotype from that of immune-mediated encephalopathies.

Conclusion: The clinical picture related to p.Arg403Cys mutations should be considered alongside acquired pathologies in the differential diagnosis of young patients with focal refractory epilepsy and encephalopathy, also occurring during late childhood or adolescence. Prompt genetic testing allows to avoid unnecessary treatments and procedures and to better define the prognosis and management strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.braindev.2020.12.017DOI Listing
January 2021

Multicenter prospective longitudinal study in 34 patients with Dravet syndrome: Neuropsychological development in the first six years of life.

Brain Dev 2021 Mar 18;43(3):419-430. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy.

The objective of this study was to identify developmental trajectories of developmental/behavioral phenotypes and possibly their relationship to epilepsy and genotype by analyzing developmental and behavioral features collected prospectively and longitudinally in a cohort of patients with Dravet syndrome (DS). Thirty-four patients from seven Italian tertiary pediatric neurology centers were enrolled in the study. All patients were examined for the SCN1A gene mutation and prospectively assessed from the first years of life with repeated full clinical observations including neurological and developmental examinations. Subjects were found to follow three neurodevelopmental trajectories. In the first group (16 patients), an initial and usually mild decline was observed between the second and the third year of life, specifically concerning visuomotor abilities, later progressing towards global involvement of all abilities. The second group (12 patients) showed an earlier onset of global developmental impairment, progressing towards a generally worse outcome. The third group of only two patients ended up with a normal neurodevelopmental quotient, but with behavioral and linguistic problems. The remaining four patients were not classifiable due to a lack of critical assessments just before developmental decline. The neurodevelopmental trajectories described in this study suggest a differential contribution of neurobiological and genetic factors. The profile of the first group, which included the largest fraction of patients, suggests that in the initial phase of the disease, visuomotor defects might play a major role in determining developmental decline. Early diagnosis of milder cases with initial visuomotor impairment may therefore provide new tools for a more accurate habilitation strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.braindev.2020.10.004DOI Listing
March 2021

Basal Ganglia Dysmorphism in Patients With Aicardi Syndrome.

Neurology 2021 Mar 4;96(9):e1319-e1333. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

From the Department of Brain and Behavioural Neurosciences (S.M., A.P., M. Formica, S.O.) and Department of Public Health Experimental and Forensic Medicine, Biostatistic and Clinical Epidemiology Unit (P. Borrelli), University of Pavia; Pediatric Neurology Unit (S.M., M. Mastrangelo, P.V.), V. Buzzi Children's Hospital, Milan; Department of Neuroradiology (A.P.), Child Neurology and Psychiatry Unit (R.B., V.D.G., S.O.), and Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, Member of the ERN EpiCARE, University of Pavia and Clinical Trial Center (E.P.), IRCCS Mondino Foundation Pavia; Neuroimaging Lab (F.A.) and Neuropsychiatry and Neurorehabilitation Unit (R.R.), Scientific Institute, IRCCS Eugenio Medea, Bosisio Parini, Lecco; Child Neuropsychiatric Unit (P.A., L.G.), Civilian Hospital, Brescia; Scientific Institute (P. Bonanni, A.D., E.O.), IRCCS E. Medea, Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology Unit, Conegliano, Treviso; UOC Child Neuropsychiatry (B.D.B., F.D.), Department of Surgical Sciences, Dentistry, Gynecology and Pediatrics, University of Verona, Italy; Département de Neurologie Pédiatrique (N.D.), Hôpital Universitaire des Enfants Reine Fabiola, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium; AdPueriVitam (O.D.), Antony; Service d'Explorations Fonctionnelles (S.G.), Centre de Médecine du Sommeil, l'Hôpital Àntoine Béclère, AP-HP, Clamart; Pediatrics Departement (S.G.), André-Grégoire Hospital, Centre Hospitalier Inter Communal, Montreuil, France; Pediatric Neurology, Neurogenetics and Neurobiology Unit and Laboratories, Neuroscience Department (R.G., M. Montomoli, M.C.) and Radiology (M. Mortilla), A. Meyer Children's Hospital, Member of the ERN EpiCARE, University of Florence; IRCCS Stella Maris Foundation (R.G.), Pisa; Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, Epilepsy Center (F.L.B., A.V.), San Paolo Hospital, Department of Health Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan; Child Neurology, NESMOS Department (P.P.), Faculty of Medicine & Psychology, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University, Rome; Department of Neuroradiology (L.P.), Pediatric Neuroradiology Section, ASST Spedali Civili, Brescia; Pediatric Neuroradiology Unit (M.S.), IRCCS Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Genova; Neurology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Member of the ERN EpiCARE (F.V.), Oncological Neuroradiology Unit, Department of Imaging, IRCCS (G.C.), and Department of Neuroscience and Neurorehabilitation (A.F.), Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Rome, Italy; Institut Imagine (N.B.-B.), Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cités; Pediatric Neurology (N.B.-B., I.D.), Necker Enfants Malades Hospital, Member of the ERN EpiCARE, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris; INSERM UMR-1163 (N.B.-B., A. Arzimanoglou), Embryology and Genetics of Congenital Malformations, France; UOC Neurochirurgia (A. Accogli, V.C.), Pediatric Neurology and Muscular Diseases Unit, Department of Neurosciences, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health, University of Genoa (F.Z.), and Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Neuroscience, IRCCS (F.Z.), Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Genoa, Italy; Neurochirurgie Pédiatrique (M.B.), Hôpital NEM, Paris, France; Centre Médico-Chirurgical des Eaux-Vives (V.C.-V.), Swiss Medical Network, Genève, Switzerland; Neuroradiology Unit (L.C.) and Developmental Neurology Unit (S.D.), Foundation IRCCS C. Besta Neurological Institute, Milan; Service de Génétique (M.D.-F.), AMH2, CHU Reims, UFR de Médecine, Reims, France; Epilepsy Centre-Clinic of Nervous System Diseases (G.d.), Riuniti Hospital, Foggia, Italy; MediClubGeorgia Co Ltd (N.E.), Tbilisi, Georgia; Epilepsy Center (N.E.), Medical Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Germany; Child and Adolescence Neurology and Psychiatry Unit (E. Fazzi), ASST Civil Hospital, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia; Child Neurology Department (E. Fiorini), Verona, Italy; Service de Genetique Clinique (M. Fradin, P.L., C.Q.), CLAD-Ouest, Hospital Sud, Rennes, France; Child Neurology Unit, Pediatric Department (C.F., C.S.), Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia; Department of Pediatric Neuroscience (T.G., R.S.), Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Member of the ERN EpiCARE, Milan, Italy; Department of Epilepsy Genetics and Personalized Treatment (K.M.J., R.S.M.), The Danish Epilepsy Centre, Dianalund; Institute for Regional Health Services (K.M.J., R.S.M.), University of Southern Denmark, Odense; Unit of Pediatric Neurology and Pediatric Neurorehabilitation (S.L.), Woman-Mother-Child Department, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland; Unit of Neuroradiology (D.M.), Fondazione CNR/Regione Toscana G. Monasterio, Pisa; Pediatric Neurology Unit and Epilepsy Center (E.R., A.R.), Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Milan, Italy; KJF Klinik Josefinum GmbH (C.U.), Klinik für Kinder und Jugendliche, Neuropädiatrie, Augsburg, Germany; Department of Paediatric Clinical Epileptology, Sleep Disorders and Functional Neurology (A. Arzimanoglou), University Hospitals of Lyon, Coordinator of the ERN EpiCARE, France; and Pediatric Epilepsy Unit, Child Neurology Department (P.V.), Hospital San Juan de Dios, Member of the ERN EpiCARE and Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.

Objective: Aiming to detect associations between neuroradiologic and EEG evaluations and long-term clinical outcome in order to detect possible prognostic factors, a detailed clinical and neuroimaging characterization of 67 cases of Aicardi syndrome (AIC), collected through a multicenter collaboration, was performed.

Methods: Only patients who satisfied Sutton diagnostic criteria were included. Clinical outcome was assessed using gross motor function, manual ability, and eating and drinking ability classification systems. Brain imaging studies and statistical analysis were reviewed.

Results: Patients presented early-onset epilepsy, which evolved into drug-resistant seizures. AIC has a variable clinical course, leading to permanent disability in most cases; nevertheless, some cases presented residual motor abilities. Chorioretinal lacunae were present in 86.56% of our patients. Statistical analysis revealed correlations between MRI, EEG at onset, and clinical outcome. On brain imaging, 100% of the patients displayed corpus callosum malformations, 98% cortical dysplasia and nodular heterotopias, and 96.36% intracranial cysts (with similar rates of 2b and 2d). As well as demonstrating that posterior fossa abnormalities (found in 63.63% of cases) should also be considered a common feature in AIC, our study highlighted the presence (in 76.36%) of basal ganglia dysmorphisms (never previously reported).

Conclusion: The AIC neuroradiologic phenotype consists of a complex brain malformation whose presence should be considered central to the diagnosis. Basal ganglia dysmorphisms are frequently associated. Our work underlines the importance of MRI and EEG, both for correct diagnosis and as a factor for predicting long-term outcome.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class II evidence that for patients with AIC, specific MRI abnormalities and EEG at onset are associated with clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011237DOI Listing
March 2021

Epilepsy and NREM-parasomnia caused by novel hemizygous ARHGEF9 mutation.

Sleep Med 2020 12 7;76:158-159. Epub 2020 Nov 7.

Department of Pediatric Neuroscience, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2020.11.003DOI Listing
December 2020

Neonatal developmental and epileptic encephalopathy due to autosomal recessive variants in SLC13A5 gene.

Epilepsia 2020 11 16;61(11):2474-2485. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Department of Child Neuropsychiatry, Children's Hospital, Ancona, Italy.

Objective: Autosomal recessive pathogenic variants of the SLC13A5 gene are associated with severe neonatal epilepsy, developmental delay, and tooth hypoplasia/hypodontia. We report on 14 additional patients and compare their phenotypic features to previously published patients to identify the clinical hallmarks of this disorder.

Methods: We collected clinical features of 14 patients carrying biallelic variants in SLC13A5 and performed a PubMed search to identify previously published patients.

Results: All patients presented clonic or tonic seizures in the first days of life, evolving into status epilepticus in 57%. Analysis of seizure frequency and developmental milestones divided into five epochs showed an evolutionary trajectory of both items. In the first 3 years of life, 72% of patients had weekly/monthly seizures, often triggered by fever; 14% were seizure-free. Between the ages of 3 and 12 years, 60% become seizure-free; in the following years, up to age 18 years, 57% were seizure-free. After the age of 18 years, all three patients reaching this age were seizure-free. Similarly, 86% of patients at onset presented mild to moderate developmental impairment and diffuse hypotonia. In late childhood, all had developmental delay that was severe in most. Benzodiazepines, phenobarbital, phenytoin, and carbamazepine were the most effective drugs. Eight probands carried heterozygous compound variants, and homozygous pathogenic variants occurred in six. Literature review identified 45 patients carrying SLC13A5 gene pathogenic variants whose clinical features overlapped with our cohort. A peculiar and distinguishing sign is the presence of tooth hypoplasia and/or hypodontia in most patients.

Significance: Autosomal recessive pathogenic variants in SLC13A5 are associated with a distinct neonatal epileptic encephalopathy evolving into severe cognitive and motor impairment, yet with seizures that settle down in late childhood. Tooth hypoplasia or hypodontia remains the peculiar feature. The SLC13A5 gene should be screened in neonatal epileptic encephalopathies; its recessive inheritance has relevance for genetic counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.16699DOI Listing
November 2020

SCN8A splicing mutation causing skipping of the exon 15 associated with intellectual disability and cortical myoclonus.

Seizure 2020 Nov 23;82:56-58. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Unit of Medical Genetics and Neurogenetics, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2020.09.011DOI Listing
November 2020

Efficacy and safety of Fenfluramine hydrochloride for the treatment of seizures in Dravet syndrome: A real-world study.

Epilepsia 2020 11 18;61(11):2405-2414. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Child Neuropsychiatry, Department of Surgical Sciences, Dentistry, Gynecology, and Pediatrics, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Objective: Dravet syndrome (DS) is a drug-resistant, infantile onset epilepsy syndrome with multiple seizure types and developmental delay. In recently published randomized controlled trials, fenfluramine (FFA) proved to be safe and effective in DS.

Methods: DS patients were treated with FFA in the Zogenix Early Access Program at four Italian pediatric epilepsy centers. FFA was administered as add-on, twice daily at an initial dose of 0.2 mg/kg/d up to 0.7 mg/kg/d. Seizures were recorded in a diary. Adverse events and cardiac safety (with Doppler echocardiography) were investigated every 3 to 6 months.

Results: Fifty-two patients were enrolled, with a median age of 8.6 years (interquartile range [IQR] = 4.1-13.9). Forty-five (86.5%) patients completed the efficacy analysis. The median follow-up was 9.0 months (IQR = 3.2-9.5). At last follow-up visit, there was a 77.4% median reduction in convulsive seizures. Thirty-two patients (71.1%) had a ≥50% reduction of convulsive seizures, 24 (53.3%) had a ≥75% reduction, and five (11.1%) were seizure-free. The most common adverse event was decreased appetite (n = 7, 13.4%). No echocardiographic signs of cardiac valvulopathy or pulmonary hypertension were observed. There was no correlation between type of genetic variants and response to FFA.

Significance: In this real-world study, FFA provided a clinically meaningful reduction in convulsive seizure frequency in the majority of patients with DS and was well tolerated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.16690DOI Listing
November 2020

Gabapentin treatment in a patient with KCNQ2 developmental epileptic encephalopathy.

Pharmacol Res 2020 10 15;160:105200. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Dept. of Neuroscience, University of Naples "Federico II", Naples, Italy. Electronic address:

De novo variants in KCNQ2 encoding for Kv7.2 voltage-dependent neuronal potassium (K) channel subunits are associated with developmental epileptic encephalopathy (DEE). We herein describe the clinical and electroencephalographic (EEG) features of a child with early-onset DEE caused by the novel KCNQ2 p.G310S variant. In vitro experiments demonstrated that the mutation induces loss-of-function effects on the currents produced by channels incorporating mutant subunits; these effects were counteracted by the selective Kv7 opener retigabine and by gabapentin, a recently described Kv7 activator. Given these data, the patient started treatment with gabapentin, showing a rapid and sustained clinical and EEG improvement over the following months. Overall, these results suggest that gabapentin can be regarded as a precision therapy for DEEs due to KCNQ2 loss-of-function mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2020.105200DOI Listing
October 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

Did the COVID-19 pandemic silence the needs of people with epilepsy?

Epileptic Disord 2020 Aug;22(4):439-442

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, Department of Neurology, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain. Member of ERN EpiCARE, Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) Barcelona, Spain.

The COVID-19 pandemic shook European healthcare systems, with unavoidable gaps in the management of patients with chronic diseases. We describe the impact of the pandemic on epilepsy care in three tertiary epilepsy centres from Spain and Italy, the most affected European countries. The three epilepsy centres, members of the European EpiCARE network, manage more than 5,700 people with epilepsy. In Bologna and Barcelona, the hospitals housing the epilepsy centres were fully converted into COVID-19 units. We describe the reorganization of the clinics and report on the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 in people with epilepsy as well as the frequency of seizures in patients admitted to the COVID units. Finally, we elaborate on critical issues regarding the second phase of the pandemic. The activities related to epilepsy care were reduced to less than 10% and were deprioritized. Discharges were expedited and elective epilepsy surgeries, including vagal nerve stimulator implantations, cancelled. Hospitalizations and EEG examinations were limited to emergencies. The outpatient visits for new patients were postponed, and follow-up visits mostly managed by telehealth. Antiseizure medication weaning plans and changes in vagal nerve stimulator settings were halted. Among the 5,700 people with epilepsy managed in our centres, only 14 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, without obvious impact on their epilepsy. None of the 2,122 patients admitted to COVID units experienced seizures among the early symptoms. Epilepsy care was negatively impacted by the pandemic, irrespective of COVID-19 epidemiology or conversion of the hospital into a COVID-19 centre. The pandemic did not silence the needs of people with epilepsy, and this must be considered in the planning of the second phase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1684/epd.2020.1175DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7537265PMC
August 2020

Psychiatric autoimmune conditions in children and adolescents: Is catatonia a severity marker?

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2021 Jan 1;104:110028. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Sorbonne Université, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, AP-HP, 47-83 Boulevard de l'Hôpital, 75013 Paris, France; GRC 15 PSYDEV. Troubles psychiatriques et développement. Sorbonne Université, Paris, France.

Objectives: Patients with autoimmune encephalitis (AE) are likely to exhibit an acute onset of severe psychiatric features, including psychosis and/or catatonia. Based on the high prevalence of catatonia in AE and our clinical experience, we hypothesized that catatonia might be a marker of severity requiring more aggressive treatment approaches.

Methods: To reach a sufficient number of cases with brain-autoimmune conditions, we pooled two samples (N = 58): the first from the French National Network of Rare Psychiatric diseases and the second from the largest Italian neuro-pediatrics center for encephalopathies. Autoimmune conditions were diagnosed using a multidisciplinary approach and numerous paraclinical investigations. We retrospectively compared patients with and without catatonia for psychiatric and non-psychiatric clinical features, biological and imaging assessments, type of immunotherapy used and outcomes.

Results: The sample included 25 patients (43%) with catatonia and 33 (57%) without catatonia. Forty-two patients (72.4%) had a definite AE (including 27 anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis) and 16 (27.6%) suspected autoimmune encephalitis. Patients with catatonia showed significantly more psychotic features [18 (72%) vs 9 (27.3%), p < 0.001)] and more movement disorders [25 (100%) vs 20 (60.6%), p < 0.001] than patients without catatonia. First line (corticoids, immunoglobulin and plasma exchanges) and second line (e.g., rituximab) therapies were more effective in patients with catatonia, with 24 (96%) vs 22 (66.7%) (p = 0.006) and 17 (68%) vs 9 (27.3%) (p = 0.002), respectively. However, those with catatonia received more combinations of first and second line treatments and had more relapses during outcomes.

Conclusion: Despite its exploratory design, the study supports the idea that autoimmune catatonia may be a marker of severity and morbidity in terms of initial presentation and relapses, requiring the need for early and aggressive treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110028DOI Listing
January 2021

Immunotherapy in GRIN2A-negative Landau-Kleffner Syndrome.

Minerva Pediatr 2020 Apr;72(2):139-141

Unit of Pediatrics, San Paolo Hospital, Savona, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0026-4946.19.05419-7DOI Listing
April 2020

Early Parkinsonism in a Senegalese girl with Lafora disease.

Epileptic Disord 2020 Apr;22(2):233-236

Department of Pediatric Neuroscience, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Member of the ERN EpiCARE, Milano.

We report the atypical presentation of Lafora disease in a Senegalese girl carrying the homozygous variant, c.560A>C, in the NHLRC1 gene. At 13 years, the patient developed myoclonic and visual seizures, progressive psychomotor slowing, and cognitive decline. At 14 years, a neurological examination showed severe hypomimia, bradykinesia, rigidity and low-amplitude myoclonic jerks. Flash-visual and somatosensory evoked potentials showed an increased amplitude of the cortical components, while an electroretinogram showed attenuated responses. An EEG showed diffuse polyspikes associated with positive-negative jerks as well as posterior slow waves and irregular spikes. The electroclinical picture suggested the diagnosis of Lafora disease regarding the association of visual seizures, cognitive deterioration, and action myoclonus, together with the EEG and evoked potential findings. Two uncommon findings were the prominence of extrapyramidal signs in the early stage of disease (which are rarely reported) and attenuation of electroretinal responses. We consider that Lafora disease should be included in the diagnostic work-up for juvenile Parkinsonism, when associated with epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1684/epd.2020.1150DOI Listing
April 2020

A de novo heterozygous mutation in KCNC2 gene implicated in severe developmental and epileptic encephalopathy.

Eur J Med Genet 2020 Apr 20;63(4):103848. Epub 2020 Jan 20.

Oasi Research Institute-IRCCS, Troina, Italy. Electronic address:

An increasing number of developmental and epileptic encephalopathies have been correlated with variants of ion channel genes, and in particular of potassium channels genes, such as KCNA1, KCNA2, KCNB1, KCNQ2, KCTD7 and KCNT1. Here we report a child with an early severe developmental and epileptic encephalopathy, spastic tetraplegia, opisthotonos attacks. The whole exome sequencing showed the de novo heterozygous variant c.1411G > C (p.Val471Leu) in the KCNC2 gene. Although this is, to our knowledge, the first case of encephalopathy associated with a KCNC2 gene variant, and further confirmatory studies are needed, previous preclinical and clinical evidence seems to suggest that KCNC2 is a new candidate epilepsy gene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmg.2020.103848DOI Listing
April 2020

Dravet syndrome: Early electroclinical findings and long-term outcome in adolescents and adults.

Epilepsia 2019 12;60 Suppl 3:S49-S58

Department of Pediatric Neuroscience, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, member of ERN EpiCare, Milan, Italy.

To describe the outcome of Dravet syndrome (DS) in adolescents and adults we conducted a longitudinal retrospective study of two independent cohorts of 34 adolescents (group 1) and 50 adults (group 2). In both cohorts, we collected information about genetic mutation, and semiology of seizures at onset and during disease course. At the last evaluation, we considered the following features: epilepsy (distinguishing myoclonic/complete and nonmyoclonic/incomplete phenotype), neurologic signs, intellectual disability (ID), and behavioral disorders. Moreover, in both cohorts, we performed a correlation analysis between early characteristics of the disease and the outcome of DS with regard to seizure persistence, ID, behavioral disorder, and neurologic impairment at last evaluation. Group 1 includes 22 adolescents with complete form of DS and 12 with incomplete form; group 2 includes 35 adults with complete form and 15 with incomplete form. The seizures persisted in 73.6% of adolescents and in 80% of adults, but epilepsy severity progressively decreased through age. Seizure persistence correlated with the complete phenotype and with the occurrence of reflex seizures. At last evaluation, ID was moderate or severe in 70.5% of adolescents and in 80% of adults. The most severe cognitive and motor impairment was observed in patients with persisting seizures. The severity of cognition, language, and neurologic impairment at last evaluation correlated statistically with the complete phenotype. The study confirms that the global outcome of DS is poor in most cases, albeit epilepsy severity decreases throughout adulthood. The improvement of epilepsy throughout ages is not associated with improvement in intellectual abilities and motor skills; this confirms that the unfavorable outcome is not a pure consequence of epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.16297DOI Listing
December 2019

Gait abnormalities in people with Dravet syndrome: A cross-sectional multi-center study.

Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2019 Nov 21;23(6):808-818. Epub 2019 Sep 21.

Laboratory of Clinical Analysis and Biomechanics of Movement, University Hospital of Padova, Padova, Italy; NEUROMOVE-Rehab, Department of Neuroscience, University of Padova, Padova, Italy; PNC, Padova Neuroscience Center, Padova, Italy.

Objective: To quantify gait abnormalities in people with Dravet syndrome (DS).

Methods: Individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of DS were enrolled, and stratified according to knee flexion at initial contact (IC) and range of motion (ROM) during stance (atypical crouch: knee flexion >20° at IC and knee ROM >15° during stance; straight: knee flexion <20° at IC). A 1D ANOVA (α = 0.05) was used to test statistical differences among the joint kinematics and spatio-temporal parameters of the cohort and an age-matched control group. Clinical (neurological and orthopaedic evaluation) and anamnestic data (seizure type, drugs, genetic mutation) were collected; distribution between the two gait phenotypes was assessed with the Fisher exact test and, for mutation, with the chi-squared test (p < 0.05). Linear regression between maximum knee flexion and normalised walking speed was calculated.

Results: Seventy-one subjects were enrolled and evaluated with instrumented gait analysis. Fifty-two were included in final analysis (mean age 13.8 ± 7.3; M 26). Two gait patterns were detected: an atypical crouch gait (34.6%) with increased ankle, knee and hip flexion during stance, and reduced walking speed and stride length not associated with muscle-tendon retractions; and a pattern resembling those of healthy age-matched controls, but still showing reduced walking speed and stride length. No differences in clinical or anamnestic data emerged between the two groups.

Significance: Objectively quantified gait in DS shows two gait patterns with no clear-cut relation to clinical data. Kinematics abnormalities may be related to stabilization issues. These findings may guide rehabilitative and preventive measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpn.2019.09.010DOI Listing
November 2019

An Italian multicentre study of perampanel in progressive myoclonus epilepsies.

Epilepsy Res 2019 10 16;156:106191. Epub 2019 Aug 16.

Neurophysiopathology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

Perampanel (PER) is a novel anti-seizure medication useful in different types of epilepsy. We intended to assess the effectiveness of PER on cortical myoclonus and seizure frequency in patients with progressive myoclonus epilepsy (PME), using quantitative validated scales. Forty-nine patients aged 36.6 ± 15.6 years with PME of various aetiology (18 EPM1, 12 EPM2, five with sialidosis, one with Kufs disease, one with EPM7, and 12 undetermined) were enrolled between January 2017 and June 2018. PER at the dose of 2-12 mg (5.3 ± 2.5) was added to existing therapy. Myoclonus severity was assessed using a minimal myoclonus scale (MMS) in all the patients before and after 4-6 months of steady PER dose, and by means of the Unified Myoclonus Rating Scale (UMRS) in 20 patients. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the factors potentially predicting treatment efficacy. Four patients dropped out in the first two months due to psychiatric side effects. In the remaining patients, PER reduced myoclonus severity as assessed using MMS (Wilcoxon test: p < 0.001) and UMRS (p < 0.001), with the 'Action myoclonus' section of the UMRS showing the greatest improvement. The patients with EPM1 or EPM1-like phenotype were more likely to improve with PER (p = 0.011). Convulsive seizures which have recurred at least monthly in 17 patients were reduced by >50%. Side effects occurred in 22/49 (44.8%) patients, the most common being irritability followed by drowsiness. PER is effective in treating myoclonus and seizures in PME patients. The frequency of psychiatric side effects suggests the need for careful patient monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2019.106191DOI Listing
October 2019

Early clinical and EEG findings associated with the outcome in childhood absence epilepsy.

Epilepsy Behav 2019 09 13;98(Pt A):273-278. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Neurofisiopatologia ed Epilettologia Diagnostica, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate several clinical electroencephalogram (EEG) findings possibly predicting the early response to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and the late outcome in children with clinical EEG features fitting the syndromic diagnosis of childhood absence epilepsy (CAE).

Methods: In 117 untreated patients with typical absences, we analyzed clinical EEG features, and resting EEG activity using partial directed coherence to calculate out- and inflow of cortical oscillations in different regions of interest.

Results: Absences began before 4 years in 12.0%, at 4-9.5 years in 71.8%, and at 10-13 years in 16.2% of the cases. Valproate was started in 91 patients and ethosuximide in 27. With one of AEDs, 77.8% reached seizure control, while the remaining patients needed to switch to the alternative AED. Only 5.9% patients remained drug-resistant. Absences with simple automatisms were the only feature associated with a lack of response to the first AED. Connectivity analysis of resting EEGs showed increased frontal outflow in patients compared with controls, which was significantly greater in the nonresponders to the first AED than in responders. Among the 91 patients followed for 61.2 ± 31.7 months, 14.2% relapsed after a seizure-free period, without differences between the responders to the first or second AED.

Conclusions: The assessment of electroclinical features provided only minimal prognostic indices. The enhanced outflow of frontal oscillations suggests a circuitry dysfunction significantly greater in the nonresponder to the early treatment. Seizure relapses were rare and comparable in patients who reached seizure freedom with first or second AED, indicating that the resistance to one AED does not influence the outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.06.040DOI Listing
September 2019

Relapse risk factors in anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis.

Dev Med Child Neurol 2019 09 7;61(9):1101-1107. Epub 2019 Jun 7.

Paediatric Neurology and Neurophysiology Unit, Department of Women's and Children's Health, University Hospital of Padua, Padua, Italy.

Aim: To identify factors that may predict and affect the risk of relapse in anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis.

Method: This was a retrospective study of an Italian cohort of patients with paediatric (≤18y) onset anti-NMDAR encephalitis.

Results: Of the 62 children included (39 females; median age at onset 9y 10mo, range 1y 2mo-18y; onset between 2005 and 2018), 21 per cent relapsed (median two total events per relapsing patient, range 2-4). Time to first relapse was median 31.5 months (range 7-89mo). Severity at first relapse was lower than onset (median modified Rankin Scale [mRS] 3, range 2-4, vs median mRS 5, range 3-5; admission to intensive care unit: 0/10 vs 3/10). At the survival analysis, the risk of relapsing was significantly lower in patients who received three or more different immune therapies at first disease event (hazard ratio 0.208, 95% confidence interval 0.046-0.941; p=0.042). Neurological outcome at follow-up did not differ significantly between patients with relapsing and monophasic disease (mRS 0-1 in 39/49 vs 12/13; p=0.431), although follow-up duration was significantly longer in relapsing (median 84mo, range 14-137mo) than in monophasic patients (median 32mo, range 4-108mo; p=0.002).

Interpretation: Relapses may occur in about one-fifth of children with anti-NMDAR encephalitis, are generally milder than at onset, and may span over a long period, although they do not seem to be associated with severity in the acute phase or with outcome at follow-up. Aggressive immune therapy at onset may reduce risk of relapse.

What This Paper Adds: Relapses of anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis may span over a long period. Relapses were not associated with severity in the acute phase or outcome at follow-up. Aggressive immune therapy at onset appears to decrease risk of relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dmcn.14267DOI Listing
September 2019

Epileptic phenotypes in children with early-onset mitochondrial diseases.

Acta Neurol Scand 2019 Sep 6;140(3):184-193. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Department of Pediatric Neuroscience, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of epilepsy in children with early-onset mitochondrial diseases (MDs) and to evaluate the epileptic phenotypes and associated features.

Materials And Methods: Children affected by MD with onset during the first year of life were enrolled. Patients were classified according to their mitochondrial phenotype, and all findings in patients with epilepsy versus patients without were compared. The epileptic features were analyzed.

Results: The series includes 129 patients (70 females) with median age at disease onset of 3 months. The median time of follow-up was 5 years. Non-syndromic mitochondrial encephalopathy and pyruvate dehydrogenase complex deficiency were the main mitochondrial diseases associated with epilepsy (P < 0.05). Seizures occurred in 48%, and the presence of epilepsy was significantly associated with earlier age at disease onset, presence of perinatal manifestations, and early detection of developmental delay and regression (P < 0.001). Epileptic encephalopathy (EE) with spasms and EE with prominent focal seizures were the most detected epileptic syndromes (37% and 27.4%). Several seizure types were recorded in 53.2%, with the unusual association of generalized and focal epileptic pattern. Disabling epilepsy was detected in 63% and was associated with early seizure onset, presence of several seizure types, epileptic syndrome featuring EE, and the recurrence of episodes of status epilepticus and epilepsia partialis continua (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Epilepsy in children with early-onset MD may be a presenting or a prominent symptom in a multisystemic clinical presentation. Epilepsy-related factors could determine a worst seizure outcome, leading to a more severe burned of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ane.13130DOI Listing
September 2019

HCN ion channels and accessory proteins in epilepsy: genetic analysis of a large cohort of patients and review of the literature.

Epilepsy Res 2019 07 8;153:49-58. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

Unit of Genetics of Neurodegenerative and Metabolic Diseases, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy.

The Hyperpolarization-activated Cyclic Nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels are highly expressed in the Central Nervous Systems, where they are responsible for the I current. Together with specific accessory proteins, these channels finely regulate neuronal excitability and discharge activity. In the last few years, a substantial body of evidence has been gathered showing that modifications of I can play an important role in the pathogenesis of epilepsy. However, the extent to which HCN dysfunction is spread among the epileptic population is still unknown. The aim of this work is to evaluate the impact of genetic mutations potentially affecting the HCN channels' activity, using a NGS approach. We screened a large cohort of patients with epilepsy of unknown etiology for mutations in HCN1, HCN2 and HCN4 and in genes coding for accessory proteins (MiRP1, Filamin A, Caveolin-3, TRIP8b, Tamalin, S-SCAM and Mint2). We confirmed the presence of specific mutations of HCN genes affecting channel function and predisposing to the development of the disease. We also found several previously unreported additional genetic variants, whose contribution to the phenotype remains to be clarified. According to these results and data from literature, alteration of HCN1 channel function seems to play a major role in epilepsy, but also dysfunctional HCN2 and HCN4 channels can predispose to the development of the disease. Our findings suggest that inclusion of the genetic screening of HCN channels in diagnostic procedures of epileptic patients should be recommended. This would help pave the way for a better understanding of the role played by I dysfunction in the pathogenesis of epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2019.04.004DOI Listing
July 2019

Screening of SLC2A1 in a large cohort of patients suspected for Glut1 deficiency syndrome: identification of novel variants and associated phenotypes.

J Neurol 2019 Jun 20;266(6):1439-1448. Epub 2019 Mar 20.

Department of Pediatric Neuroscience, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy.

Glucose transporter type 1 deficiency syndrome (Glut1 DS) is a rare neurological disorder caused by impaired glucose delivery to the brain. The clinical spectrum of Glut1 DS mainly includes epilepsy, paroxysmal dyskinesia (PD), developmental delay and microcephaly. Glut1 DS diagnosis is based on the identification of hypoglycorrhachia and pathogenic mutations of the SLC2A1 gene. Here, we report the molecular screening of SLC2A1 in 354 patients clinically suspected for Glut1 DS. From this cohort, we selected 245 patients for whom comprehensive clinical and laboratory data were available. Among them, we identified 19 patients carrying nucleotide variants of pathological significance, 5 of which were novel. The symptoms of onset, which varied from neonatal to adult age, included epilepsy, PD or non-epileptic paroxysmal manifestations. The comparison of the clinical features between the 19 SLC2A1 mutated and the 226 non-mutated patients revealed that the onset of epilepsy within the first year of life (when associated with developmental delay or other neurological manifestations), the association of epilepsy with PD and acquired microcephaly are more common in mutated subjects. Taken together, these data confirm the variability of expression of the phenotypes associated with mutation of SLC2A1 and provide useful clinical tools for the early identification of subjects highly suspected for the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-019-09280-6DOI Listing
June 2019

Progressive myoclonus epilepsy caused by a gain-of-function KCNA2 mutation.

Seizure 2019 Feb 8;65:106-108. Epub 2019 Jan 8.

Neurophysiopathology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy; Department of Neurology, San Gerardo Hospital, School of Medicine and Surgery, Milan Center for Neuroscience (NeuroMi), University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2019.01.005DOI Listing
February 2019

Defining the electroclinical phenotype and outcome of PCDH19-related epilepsy: A multicenter study.

Epilepsia 2018 12 19;59(12):2260-2271. Epub 2018 Nov 19.

Neurology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Objective: PCDH19-related epilepsy is an epileptic syndrome with infantile onset, characterized by clustered and fever-induced seizures, often associated with intellectual disability (ID) and autistic features. The aim of this study was to analyze a large cohort of patients with PCDH19-related epilepsy and better define the epileptic phenotype, genotype-phenotype correlations, and related outcome-predicting factors.

Methods: We retrospectively collected genetic, clinical, and electroencephalogram (EEG) data of 61 patients with PCDH19-related epilepsy followed at 15 epilepsy centers. All consecutively performed EEGs were analyzed, totaling 551. We considered as outcome measures the development of ID, autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), and seizure persistence. The analyzed variables were the following: gender, age at onset, age at study, genetic variant, fever sensitivity, seizure type, cluster occurrence, status epilepticus, EEG abnormalities, and cognitive and behavioral disorders. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed to evaluate the age at which seizures might decrease in frequency.

Results: At last follow-up (median = 12 years, range = 1.9-42.1 years), 48 patients (78.7%) had annual seizures/clusters, 13 patients (21.3%) had monthly to weekly seizures, and 12 patients (19.7%) were seizure-free for ≥2 years. Receiver operating characteristic analysis showed a significant decrease of seizure frequency after the age of 10.5 years (sensitivity = 81.0%, specificity = 70.0%). Thirty-six patients (59.0%) had ID and behavioral disturbances. ASD was present in 31 patients. An earlier age at epilepsy onset emerged as the only predictive factor for ID (P = 0.047) and ASD (P = 0.014). Conversely, age at onset was not a predictive factor for seizure outcome (P = 0.124).

Significance: We found that earlier age at epilepsy onset is related to a significant risk for ID and ASD. Furthermore, long-term follow-up showed that after the age of 10 years, seizures decrease in frequency and cognitive and behavioral disturbances remain the primary clinical problems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.14600DOI Listing
December 2018

HCN1 mutation spectrum: from neonatal epileptic encephalopathy to benign generalized epilepsy and beyond.

Brain 2018 11;141(11):3160-3178

EuroEPINOMICS RES Consortium.

Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels control neuronal excitability and their dysfunction has been linked to epileptogenesis but few individuals with neurological disorders related to variants altering HCN channels have been reported so far. In 2014, we described five individuals with epileptic encephalopathy due to de novo HCN1 variants. To delineate HCN1-related disorders and investigate genotype-phenotype correlations further, we assembled a cohort of 33 unpublished patients with novel pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants: 19 probands carrying 14 different de novo mutations and four families with dominantly inherited variants segregating with epilepsy in 14 individuals, but not penetrant in six additional individuals. Sporadic patients had epilepsy with median onset at age 7 months and in 36% the first seizure occurred during a febrile illness. Overall, considering familial and sporadic patients, the predominant phenotypes were mild, including genetic generalized epilepsies and genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+) spectrum. About 20% manifested neonatal/infantile onset otherwise unclassified epileptic encephalopathy. The study also included eight patients with variants of unknown significance: one adopted patient had two HCN1 variants, four probands had intellectual disability without seizures, and three individuals had missense variants inherited from an asymptomatic parent. Of the 18 novel pathogenic missense variants identified, 12 were associated with severe phenotypes and clustered within or close to transmembrane domains, while variants segregating with milder phenotypes were located outside transmembrane domains, in the intracellular N- and C-terminal parts of the channel. Five recurrent variants were associated with similar phenotypes. Using whole-cell patch-clamp, we showed that the impact of 12 selected variants ranged from complete loss-of-function to significant shifts in activation kinetics and/or voltage dependence. Functional analysis of three different substitutions altering Gly391 revealed that these variants had different consequences on channel biophysical properties. The Gly391Asp variant, associated with the most severe, neonatal phenotype, also had the most severe impact on channel function. Molecular dynamics simulation on channel structure showed that homotetramers were not conducting ions because the permeation path was blocked by cation(s) strongly complexed to the Asp residue, whereas heterotetramers showed an instantaneous current component possibly linked to deformation of the channel pore. In conclusion, our results considerably expand the clinical spectrum related to HCN1 variants to include common generalized epilepsy phenotypes and further illustrate how HCN1 has a pivotal function in brain development and control of neuronal excitability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awy263DOI Listing
November 2018

A Loss-of-Function Mutation Associated With Familial Benign Myoclonic Epilepsy in Infancy Causes Increased Neuronal Excitability.

Front Mol Neurosci 2018 6;11:269. Epub 2018 Aug 6.

Molecular Physiology and Neurobiology, The PaceLab, Department of Biosciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.

HCN channels are highly expressed and functionally relevant in neurons and increasing evidence demonstrates their involvement in the etiology of human epilepsies. Among HCN isoforms, HCN4 is important in cardiac tissue, where it underlies pacemaker activity. Despite being expressed also in deep structures of the brain, mutations of this channel functionally shown to be associated with epilepsy have not been reported yet. Using Next Generation Sequencing for the screening of patients with idiopathic epilepsy, we identified the p.Arg550Cys (c.1648C>T) heterozygous mutation on in two brothers affected by benign myoclonic epilepsy of infancy. Functional characterization in heterologous expression system and in neurons showed that the mutation determines a loss of function of HCN4 contribution to activity and an increase of neuronal discharge, potentially predisposing to epilepsy. Expressed in cardiomyocytes, mutant channels activate at slightly more negative voltages than wild-type (WT), in accordance with borderline bradycardia. While HCN4 variants have been frequently associated with cardiac arrhythmias, these data represent the first experimental evidence that functional alteration of HCN4 can also be involved in human epilepsy through a loss-of-function effect and associated increased neuronal excitability. Since HCN4 appears to be highly expressed in deep brain structures only early during development, our data provide a potential explanation for a link between dysfunctional HCN4 and infantile epilepsy. These findings suggest that it may be useful to include screening to extend the knowledge of the genetic causes of infantile epilepsies, potentially paving the way for the identification of innovative therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2018.00269DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6089338PMC
August 2018

Electroclinical features of epilepsy monosomy 1p36 syndrome and their implications.

Acta Neurol Scand 2018 Dec 14;138(6):523-530. Epub 2018 Aug 14.

Pediatric Neurology and Muscular Diseases Unit, Department of Neurosciences, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health, 'G. Gaslini' Institute, University of Genoa, Genova, Italy.

Objectivies: Monosomy 1p36 syndrome is a recognized syndrome with multiple congenital anomalies; medical problems of this syndrome include developmental delay, facial dysmorphisms, hearing loss, short stature, brain anomalies, congenital heart defects. Epilepsy can be another feature but there are few data about the types of seizures and long term prognosis. The aim of this work was to analyse the electroclinical phenotype and the long-term outcome in patients with monosomy 1p36 syndrome and epilepsy.

Materials And Methods: Data of 22 patients with monosomy 1p36 syndrome and epilepsy were reconstructed by reviewing medical records. For each patient we analysed age at time of diagnosis, first signs of the syndrome, age at seizure onset, seizure type and its frequency, EEG and neuroimaging findings, the response to antiepileptic drugs treatment and clinical outcome up to the last follow-up assessment.

Results: Infantile Spasm (IS) represents the most frequent type at epilepsy onset, which occurs in 36.4% of children, and a half of these were associated with hypsarrhythmic electroencephalogram. All patients with IS had persistence of seizures, unlike other patients with different seizures onset. Children with abnormal brain neuroimaging have a greater chance to develop pharmacoresistant epilepsy.

Conclusion: This syndrome represents a significant cause of IS: these patients, who develop IS, can suffer from pharmacoresistent epilepsy, that is more frequent in children with brain abnormalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ane.13006DOI Listing
December 2018

The noncoding RNA AK127244 in 2p16.3 locus: A new susceptibility region for neuropsychiatric disorders.

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 2018 09 14;177(6):557-562. Epub 2018 Aug 14.

Laboratory of Clinical Pathology and Medical Genetics, Foundation IRCCS C. Besta Neurological Institute, Milan, Italy.

The presence of redundant copy number variants (CNVs) in groups of patients with neurological diseases suggests that these variants could have pathogenic effect. We have collected array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) data of about 2,500 patients affected by neurocognitive disorders and we observed that CNVs in 2p16.3 locus were as frequent as those in 15q11.2, being both the most frequent unbalances in our cohort of patients. Focusing to 2p16.3 region, unbalances involving NRXN1 coding region have been already associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, although with incomplete penetrance, but little is known about CNVs located proximal to the gene, in the long noncoding RNA AK127244. We found that, in our cohort of patients with neuropsychiatric disorders, the frequency of CNVs involving AK127244 was comparable to that of NRXN1 gene. Patients carrying 2p16.3 unbalances shared some common clinical characteristics regardless NRXN1 and AK127244 CNVs localization, suggesting that the AK127244 long noncoding RNA could be involved in neurocognitive disease with the same effect of NRXN1 unbalances. AK127244 as well as NRXN1 unbalances seem to have a particular influence on language development, behavior or mood, according with the topographic correlation between NRXN1 expression and prefrontal cortex functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.b.32649DOI Listing
September 2018