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Valproic Acid Aggravates Epilepsy due to MELAS in a Patient with an A3243G Mutation of Mitochondrial DNA

Abstract

Epilepsy is one of the most common presentations of patients with mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS). MELAS is typically caused by an A-to-G substitution at nucleotide position 3243 of mitochondrial DNA. Valproic acid, a common anticonvulsant, can actually increase the frequency of seizures in individuals with MELAS. Here, we report a single case-study of a 38-year-old man who presented with focal seizures and had MELAS Syndrome due to the A3243G mitochondrial DNA mutation. Manifestation of epilepsia partialis continua was aggravated by use of valproic acid. Convulsions abated after discontinuation of valproic acid. Our experience suggests that valproic acid should be avoided for the treatment of epilepsy in individuals with mitochondrial disease.

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Correspondence to Chih-Ming Lin.

Additional information

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11011-007-9056-3

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Lin, C., Thajeb, P. Valproic Acid Aggravates Epilepsy due to MELAS in a Patient with an A3243G Mutation of Mitochondrial DNA. Metab Brain Dis 22, 105 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11011-006-9039-9

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Keywords

  • Epilepsy
  • Mitochondrial disease
  • Valproate
  • Valproic acid
  • MELAS