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author:("gregg, Roman")
1.  Novel Mutations Mapping to the Fourth Sodium Channel Domain of Nav1.7 Result in Variable Clinical Manifestations of Primary Erythromelalgia 
Neuromolecular Medicine  2013;15(2):265-278.
We identified and clinically investigated two patients with primary erythromelalgia mutations (PEM), which are the first reported to map to the fourth domain of Nav1.7 (DIV). The identified mutations (A1746G and W1538R) were cloned and transfected to cell cultures followed by electrophysiological analysis in whole-cell configuration. The investigated patients presented with PEM, while age of onset was very different (3 vs. 61 years of age). Electrophysiological characterization revealed that the early onset A1746G mutation leads to a marked hyperpolarizing shift in voltage dependence of steady-state activation, larger window currents, faster activation kinetics (time-to-peak current) and recovery from steady-state inactivation compared to wild-type Nav1.7, indicating a pronounced gain-of-function. Furthermore, we found a hyperpolarizing shift in voltage dependence of slow inactivation, which is another feature commonly found in Nav1.7 mutations associated with PEM. In silico neuron simulation revealed reduced firing thresholds and increased repetitive firing, both indicating hyperexcitability. The late-onset W1538R mutation also revealed gain-of-function properties, although to a lesser extent. Our findings demonstrate that mutations encoding for DIV of Nav1.7 can not only be linked to congenital insensitivity to pain or paroxysmal extreme pain disorder but can also be causative of PEM, if voltage dependency of channel activation is affected. This supports the view that the degree of biophysical property changes caused by a mutation may have an impact on age of clinical manifestation of PEM. In summary, these findings extent the genotype–phenotype correlation profile for SCN9A and highlight a new region of Nav1.7 that is implicated in PEM.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12017-012-8216-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s12017-012-8216-8
PMCID: PMC3650253  PMID: 23292638
Erythromelalgia; Neuropathic pain; Voltage-gated sodium channels; Gain-of-function mutations; Nav1.7
2.  Neurological perspectives on voltage-gated sodium channels 
Brain  2012;135(9):2585-2612.
The activity of voltage-gated sodium channels has long been linked to disorders of neuronal excitability such as epilepsy and chronic pain. Recent genetic studies have now expanded the role of sodium channels in health and disease, to include autism, migraine, multiple sclerosis, cancer as well as muscle and immune system disorders. Transgenic mouse models have proved useful in understanding the physiological role of individual sodium channels, and there has been significant progress in the development of subtype selective inhibitors of sodium channels. This review will outline the functions and roles of specific sodium channels in electrical signalling and disease, focusing on neurological aspects. We also discuss recent advances in the development of selective sodium channel inhibitors.
doi:10.1093/brain/aws225
PMCID: PMC3437034  PMID: 22961543
ion channel; genetics; pain; epilepsy; SCN1A
3.  Performance on a probabilistic inference task in healthy subjects receiving ketamine compared with patients with schizophrenia 
Evidence suggests that some aspects of schizophrenia can be induced in healthy volunteers through acute administration of the non-competitive NMDA-receptor antagonist, ketamine. In probabilistic inference tasks, patients with schizophrenia have been shown to ‘jump to conclusions’ (JTC) when asked to make a decision. We aimed to test whether healthy participants receiving ketamine would adopt a JTC response pattern resembling that of patients. The paradigmatic task used to investigate JTC has been the ‘urn’ task, where participants are shown a sequence of beads drawn from one of two ‘urns’, each containing coloured beads in different proportions. Participants make a decision when they think they know the urn from which beads are being drawn. We compared performance on the urn task between controls receiving acute ketamine or placebo with that of patients with schizophrenia and another group of controls matched to the patient group. Patients were shown to exhibit a JTC response pattern relative to their matched controls, whereas JTC was not evident in controls receiving ketamine relative to placebo. Ketamine does not appear to promote JTC in healthy controls, suggesting that ketamine does not affect probabilistic inferences.
doi:10.1177/0269881111435252
PMCID: PMC3546628  PMID: 22389244
Ketamine; decision making; schizophrenia

Results 1-3 (3)