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See detailDe novo loss- or gain-of-function mutations in KCNA2 cause epileptic encephalopathy
Syrbe, Steffen; Hedrich, Ulrike B.S.; Riesch, Erik et al

in Nature Genetics (2015), 47(4), 393-9

Epileptic encephalopathies are a phenotypically and genetically heterogeneous group of severe epilepsies accompanied by intellectual disability and other neurodevelopmental features1–6. Using next ... [more ▼]

Epileptic encephalopathies are a phenotypically and genetically heterogeneous group of severe epilepsies accompanied by intellectual disability and other neurodevelopmental features1–6. Using next-generation sequencing, we identified four different de novo mutations in KCNA2, encoding the potassium channel KV1.2, in six patients with epileptic encephalopathy (one mutation recurred three times independently). Four individuals presented with febrile and multiple afebrile, often focal seizure types, multifocal epileptiform discharges strongly activated by sleep, mild to moderate intellectual disability, delayed speech development and sometimes ataxia. Functional studies of the two mutations associated with this phenotype showed almost complete loss of function with a dominant-negative effect. Two further individuals presented with a different and more severe epileptic encephalopathy phenotype. They carried mutations inducing a drastic gain-of-function effect leading to permanently open channels. These results establish KCNA2 as a new gene involved in human neurodevelopmental disorders through two different mechanisms, predicting either hyperexcitability or electrical silencing of KV1.2-expressing neurons. [less ▲]

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See detailThe phenotypic spectrum of SCN8A encephalopathy
Larsen, Jan; Carvill, Gemma L.; Gardella, Elena et al

in Neurology (2015), 84(5), 480-489

Objective: SCN8A encodes the sodium channel voltage-gated α8-subunit (Nav1.6). SCN8A mutations have recently been associated with epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disorders. We aimed to delineate the ... [more ▼]

Objective: SCN8A encodes the sodium channel voltage-gated α8-subunit (Nav1.6). SCN8A mutations have recently been associated with epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disorders. We aimed to delineate the phenotype associated with SCN8A mutations. Methods: We used high-throughput sequence analysis of the SCN8A gene in 683 patients with a range of epileptic encephalopathies. In addition, we ascertained cases with SCN8A mutations from other centers. A detailed clinical history was obtained together with a review of EEG and imaging data. Results: Seventeen patients with de novo heterozygous mutations of SCN8A were studied. Seizure onset occurred at a mean age of 5 months (range: 1 day to 18 months); in general, seizures were not triggered by fever. Fifteen of 17 patients had multiple seizure types including focal, tonic, clonic, myoclonic and absence seizures, and epileptic spasms; seizures were refractory to antiepileptic therapy. Development was normal in 12 patients and slowed after seizure onset, often with regression; 5 patients had delayed development from birth. All patients developed intellectual disability, ranging from mild to severe. Motor manifestations were prominent including hypotonia, dystonia, hyperreflexia, and ataxia. EEG findings comprised moderate to severe background slowing with focal or multifocal epileptiform discharges. Conclusion: SCN8A encephalopathy presents in infancy with multiple seizure types including focal seizures and spasms in some cases. Outcome is often poor and includes hypotonia and movement disorders. The majority of mutations arise de novo, although we observed a single case of somatic mosaicism in an unaffected parent. [less ▲]

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