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neurogenetics

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 23–34 | Cite as

Clinical and genetic aspects of PCDH19-related epilepsy syndromes and the possible role of PCDH19 mutations in males with autism spectrum disorders

  • J. J. T. van Harssel
  • S. Weckhuysen
  • M. J. A. van Kempen
  • K. Hardies
  • N. E. Verbeek
  • C. G. F. de Kovel
  • W. B. Gunning
  • E. van Daalen
  • M. V. de Jonge
  • A. C. Jansen
  • R. J. Vermeulen
  • W. F. M. Arts
  • H. Verhelst
  • A. Fogarasi
  • J. F. de Rijk-van Andel
  • A. Kelemen
  • D. Lindhout
  • P. De Jonghe
  • B. P. C. Koeleman
  • A. Suls
  • E. H. BrilstraEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Epilepsy and mental retardation limited to females (EFMR), caused by PCDH19 mutations, has a variable clinical expression that needs further exploration. Onset of epilepsy may be provoked by fever and can resemble Dravet syndrome. Furthermore, transmitting males have no seizures, but are reported to have rigid personalities suggesting possible autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Therefore, this study aimed to determine the phenotypic spectrum associated with PCDH19 mutations in Dravet-like and EFMR female patients and in males with ASD. We screened 120 females suffering from Dravet-like epilepsy, 136 females with EFMR features and 20 males with ASD. Phenotypes and genotypes of the PCDH19 mutation carriers were compared with those of 125 females with EFMR reported in the literature. We report 15 additional patients with a PCDH19 mutation. Review of clinical data of all reported patients showed that the clinical picture of EFMR is heterogeneous, but epilepsy onset in infancy, fever sensitivity and occurrence of seizures in clusters are key features. Seizures remit in the majority of patients during teenage years. Intellectual disability and behavioural disturbances are common. Fifty percent of all mutations are missense mutations, located in the extracellular domains only. Truncating mutations have been identified in all protein domains. One ASD proband carried one missense mutation predicted to have a deleterious effect, suggesting that ASD in males can be associated with PCDH19 mutations.

Keywords

PCDH19 Epilepsy X-linked Genetics Autism spectrum disorder 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the patients and their family members for their cooperation and participation in this study. We also thank the VIB Genetic Service Facility (http://www.vibgeneticservicefacility.be) for the genetic analyses. The research is supported by the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO), Methusalem excellence grant of the Flemish Government, University of Antwerp, the Interuniversity Attraction Poles program P6/43 of the Belgian Science Policy Office, the Eurocores program EuroEPINOMICS of the European Science Foundation. A.S. is a postdoctoral fellow of the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. T. van Harssel
    • 1
  • S. Weckhuysen
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • M. J. A. van Kempen
    • 1
  • K. Hardies
    • 2
    • 3
  • N. E. Verbeek
    • 1
  • C. G. F. de Kovel
    • 1
  • W. B. Gunning
    • 5
  • E. van Daalen
    • 6
  • M. V. de Jonge
    • 6
  • A. C. Jansen
    • 7
    • 8
  • R. J. Vermeulen
    • 9
  • W. F. M. Arts
    • 10
  • H. Verhelst
    • 11
  • A. Fogarasi
    • 12
  • J. F. de Rijk-van Andel
    • 13
  • A. Kelemen
    • 14
  • D. Lindhout
    • 1
    • 15
  • P. De Jonghe
    • 2
    • 3
    • 16
  • B. P. C. Koeleman
    • 1
  • A. Suls
    • 2
    • 3
  • E. H. Brilstra
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medical GeneticsUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtthe Netherlands
  2. 2.Neurogenetics Group, Department of Molecular GeneticsVIBAntwerpBelgium
  3. 3.Laboratory of Neurogenetics, Institute Born-BungeUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  4. 4.Epilepsy Center KempenhaegheOosterhoutthe Netherlands
  5. 5.The Epilepsy Institutes of the Netherlands Foundation (SEIN)Zwollethe Netherlands
  6. 6.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtthe Netherlands
  7. 7.Pediatric Neurology Unit, Department of PediatricsUZ BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  8. 8.Department of Public HealthVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  9. 9.Department of Pediatric NeurologyVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamthe Netherlands
  10. 10.Department of NeurologyErasmus Medical Center—Sophia Children’s HospitalRotterdamthe Netherlands
  11. 11.Division of Pediatric Neurology, Department of PediatricsGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium
  12. 12.Epilepsy CenterBethesda Children’s HospitalBudapestHungary
  13. 13.Department of NeurologyAmphia HospitalBredathe Netherlands
  14. 14.Epilepsy CenterNational Institute of NeurosciencesBudapestHungary
  15. 15.SEIN—Epilepsy Institutes in the Netherlands FoundationHoofddorpthe Netherlands
  16. 16.Division of NeurologyAntwerp University HospitalAntwerpBelgium

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