Genetic and clinical aspects of lissencephaly

Revue neurologique
A VerloesP Gressens

Abstract

The term lissencephaly covers a group of rare malformations sharing the common feature of anomalies in the appearance of brain convolutions (characterised by simplification or absence of folding) associated with abnormal organisation of the cortical layers as a result of neuronal migration defects during embryogenesis. Children with lissencephaly have feeding and swallowing problems, muscle tone anomalies (early hypotonia and subsequently limb hypertonia), seizures (in particular, infantile spasms) and severe psychomotor retardation. Multiple forms of lissencephaly have been described and their current classification is based on the associated malformations and underlying aetiology. Two large groups can be distinguished: classical lissencephaly (and its variants) and cobblestone lissencephaly. In classical lissencephaly (or type I), the cortex appears thickened, with four more or less disorganised layers rather than six normal layers. In the variants of classical lissencephaly, extra-cortical anomalies are also present (total or subtotal agenesis of the corpus callosum and/or cerebellar hypoplasia). The classical lissencephalies and the variant forms can be further divided into several subgroups. Four forms can be distinguished...Continue Reading

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