Altered GABA receptor expression in brainstem nuclei and SUDEP in mice associated with epileptic encephalopathy
Pontocerebellar hypoplasia is a group of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by reduced volume of the brainstem and cerebellum. We report two male siblings who presented with early infantile clonic seizures, and then developed infantile spasms associated with prominent isolated cerebellar hypoplasia/atrophy on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using whole exome sequencing techniques, both were found to be compound heterozygotes for one previously reported and one novel mutation in the gene encoding mitochondrial arginyl-tRNA synthetase 2 (RARS2). Mutations in this gene have been classically described in pontocerebellar hypoplasia type six (PCH6), a phenotype characterized by early (often intractable) seizures, profound developmental delay, and progressive pontocerebellar atrophy. The electroclinical spectrum of PCH6 is broad and includes a number of seizure types: myoclonic, generalized tonic–clonic, and focal clonic seizures. Our report expands the characterization of the PCH6 disease spectrum and presents infantile spasms as an associated electroclinical phenotype.
To determine the main factors influencing metabolic changes in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) due to hippocampal sclerosis (HS).Methods
We prospectively studied 114 patients with MTLE (62 female; 60 left HS; 15- to 56-year-olds) with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose–positron emission tomography and correlated the results with the side of HS, structural atrophy, electroclinical features, gender, age at onset, epilepsy duration, and seizure frequency. Imaging processing was performed using statistical parametric mapping.Results
Ipsilateral hypometabolism involved temporal (mesial structures, pole, and lateral cortex) and extratemporal areas including the insula, frontal lobe, perisylvian regions, and thalamus, more extensively in right HS (RHS). A relative increase of metabolism (hypermetabolism) was found in the nonepileptic temporal lobe and in posterior areas bilaterally. Voxel-based morphometry detected unilateral hippocampus atrophy and gray matter concentration decrease in both frontal lobes, more extensively in left HS (LHS). Regardless of the structural alterations, the topography of hypometabolism correlated strongly with the extent of epileptic networks (mesial, anterior-mesiolateral, widespread mesiolateral, and bitemporal according to the ictal spread), which were larger in RHS. Notably, widespread perisylvian and bitemporal hypometabolism was found only in RHS. Mirror hypermetabolism was grossly proportional to the hypometabolic areas, coinciding partly with the default mode network. Gender-related effect was significant mainly in the contralateral frontal lobe, in which metabolism was higher in female patients. Epilepsy duration correlated with the contralateral temporal metabolism, positively in LHS and negatively in RHS. Opposite results were found with age at onset. High seizure frequency correlated negatively with the contralateral metabolism in LHS.Significance
Epileptic networks, as assessed by electroclinical correlations, appear to be the main determinant of hypometabolism in MTLE. Compensatory mechanisms reflected by a relative hypermetabolism in the nonepileptic temporal lobe and in extratemporal areas seem more efficient in LHS and in female patients, whereas long duration, late onset of epilepsy, and high seizure frequency may reduce these adaptive changes.
Abnormally enhanced glutamatergic excitation is commonly believed to mark the onset of a focal seizure. This notion, however, is not supported by firm evidence, and it will be challenged here. A general reduction of unit firing has been indeed observed in association with low-voltage fast activity at the onset of seizures recorded during presurgical intracranial monitoring in patients with focal, drug-resistant epilepsies. Moreover, focal seizures in animal models start with increased γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneuronal activity that silences principal cells. In vitro studies have shown that synchronous activation of GABAA receptors occurs at seizure onset and causes sizeable elevations in extracellular potassium, thus facilitating neuronal recruitment and seizure progression. A paradoxical involvement of GABAergic networks is required for the initiation of focal seizures characterized by low-voltage fast activity, which represents the most common seizure-onset pattern in focal epilepsies.
A new analysis of registry data from European countries does not support a risk of orofacial cleft and clubfoot with exposure to lamotrigine monotherapy, in contrast to signals from previous studies...
To investigate effects of interictal epileptic activity (IEA) and antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) on reactivity and aspects of the fitness to drive for epilepsy patients.Methods
Forty-six adult patients with demonstration of focal or generalized bursts of IEA in electroencephalography (EEG) readings within 1 year prior to inclusion irrespective of medication performed a car driving computer test or a single light flash test (39 patients performed both). Reaction times (RTs), virtual crashes, or lapses (RT ≥ 1 s in the car or flash test) were measured in an IEA burst–triggered fashion during IEA and compared with RT-measurements during unremarkable EEG findings in the same session.Results
IEA prolonged RTs both in the flash and car test (p < 0.001) in individual patients up to 200 ms. Generalized IEA with spike/waves (s/w) had the largest effect on RT prolongation (p < 0.001, both tests), whereas mean RT during normal EEG, age, gender, and number of AEDs had no effect. The car test was better than the flash test in detecting RT prolongations (p = 0.030). IEA increased crashes/lapses >26% in sessions with generalized IEA with s/w. The frequency of IEA-associated RT >1 s exceeded predictions (p < 0.001) based on simple RT shift, suggesting functional impairment beyond progressive RT prolongation by IEA. The number of AEDs correlated with prolonged RTs during normal EEG (p < 0.021) but not with IEA-associated RT prolongation or crashes/lapses.Significance
IEA prolonged RTs to varying extents, dependent on IEA type. IEA-associated RTs >1 s were more frequent than predicted, suggesting beginning cerebral decompensation of visual stimulus processing. AEDs somewhat reduced psychomotor speed, but it was mainly the IEA that contributed to an excess of virtual accidents.