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author:("ritter, C")
1.  A second locus for Aicardi‐Goutières syndrome at chromosome 13q14–21 
Journal of Medical Genetics  2005;43(5):444-450.
Aicardi‐Goutières syndrome (AGS) is an autosomal recessive, early onset encephalopathy characterised by calcification of the basal ganglia, chronic cerebrospinal fluid lymphocytosis, and negative serological investigations for common prenatal infections. AGS may result from a perturbation of interferon α metabolism. The disorder is genetically heterogeneous with approximately 50% of families mapping to the first known locus at 3p21 (AGS1).
A genome‐wide scan was performed in 10 families with a clinical diagnosis of AGS in whom linkage to AGS1 had been excluded. Higher density genotyping in regions of interest was also undertaken using the 10 mapping pedigrees and seven additional AGS families.
Our results demonstrate significant linkage to a second AGS locus (AGS2) at chromosome 13q14–21 with a maximum multipoint heterogeneity logarithm of the odds (LOD) score of 5.75 at D13S768. The AGS2 locus lies within a 4.7 cM region as defined by a 1 LOD‐unit support interval.
We have identified a second AGS disease locus and at least one further locus. As in a number of other conditions, genetic heterogeneity represents a significant obstacle to gene identification in AGS. The localisation of AGS2 represents an important step in this process.
PMCID: PMC2649012  PMID: 15908569
AGS2; Aicardi‐Goutières syndrome; interferon α; intracranial calcification; 13q14–21
PMCID: PMC1765614  PMID: 12611932
4.  A magnetic resonance study of complicated early childhood convulsion 
OBJECTIVES—The relation between complicated early childhood convulsion (ECC) and adult epilepsy is unclear, although a history of complicated ECC is obtainable in half of adults with epilepsy associated with hippocampal sclerosis. It is not known if the ECC is a marker of pre-existing brain damage or is itself harmful to the developing brain. The objective of the study was to assess the extent of structural brain abnormality present soon after a first complicated early childhood convulsion with a view to obtaining data which might contribute to an understanding of whether such abnormalities were likely to be pre-existing or caused by the convulsion.
METHODS—Children under the age of 5 years were recruited into the study after their first complicated febrile or non-febrile ECC. None had previously experienced an epileptic seizure. All underwent MRI of the brain within 14 days. Hippocampal volumes and T2 relaxation times were measured. The results were compared with a neurological control group of children without gross structural abnormalities of the neocortex undergoing MRI of the brain for reasons other than epilepsy.
RESULTS—Eighteen patients and 10 control subjects were recruited into the study. One patient was subsequently excluded because of EEG and clinical evidence of benign childhood epilepsy. Nine patients had volumetric evidence of significant hippocampal volume asymmetry (3 SD from the mean of the control group), although in only three of these was the asymmetry apparent on visual inspection of the MRI. Three patients had extrahippocampal neuropathology. None of the control subjects had significant hippocampal volume asymmetry (p<0.001). T2 relaxometry showed no evidence that postictal hippocampal oedema contributed to the asymmetry.
CONCLUSIONS—There is a high prevalence of structural brain abnormalities in children within 2 weeks of the first complicated early childhood convulsion, including significant hippocampal asymmetry unrelated to oedema. This does not exclude a damaging effect of complicated ECC on the brain, but suggests that in at least some patients the complicated ECC is the result of pre-existing brain abnormalities.

PMCID: PMC1737589  PMID: 11606676
6.  Melatonin state in Mendenhall's syndrome. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1988;63(7):852-854.
We report a case of Mendenhall's syndrome that presented as hypoglycaemia. The clinical and biochemical features of the case are described including, for the first time, studies of melatonin state showing raised melatonin metabolite excretion in the urine as might be expected with disordered pineal function.
PMCID: PMC1779066  PMID: 3415309

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