Epilepsy genes: the link between molecular dysfunction and pathophysiology

Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews
C E Stafstrom, B L Tempel

Abstract

Our understanding of the genetic basis of epilepsy is progressing at a rapid pace. Gene mutations causing several of the inherited epilepsies have been mapped, and several more are likely to be added in coming years. In this review, we summarize the available information on the genetic basis of human epilepsies and epilepsy syndromes, emphasizing how genetic defects may correlate with the pathophysiological mechanisms of brain hyperexcitability. Mutations leading to epilepsy have been identified in genes encoding voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels (benign familial neonatal convulsions, autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy, generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures "plus"), neurotransmitter receptors (Angelman syndrome), the molecular cascade of cellular energy production (myoclonic epilepsy with ragged red fibers), and proteins without a known role in neuronal excitability (Unverricht-Lundborg disease). Gene defects can lead to epilepsy by altering multiple and diverse aspects of neuronal function.

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Related Concepts

Polyneuropathy
Familial Progressive Myoclonic Epilepsy
Epilepsies, Myoclonic
Epilepsy, Generalized
Epilepsy
Energy Metabolism
Neurons
Reinforcing Factors
Merrf Syndrome
Gene Mutation

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Angelman Syndrome

Angelman syndrome is a neurogenetic imprinting disorder caused by loss of the maternally inherited UBE3A gene and is characterized by generalized epilepsy, limited expressive speech, sleep dysfunction, and movement disorders. Here is the latest research.