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1.  Midbrain–hindbrain malformations in patients with malformations of cortical development and epilepsy: A series of 220 patients 
Epilepsy Research  2013;106(1-2):181-190.
•We assessed midbrain–hindbrain in a large series of cortical malformation patients.•Midbrain–hindbrain malformations are commonly linked to cortical malformations.•Midbrain–hindbrain malformations are associated with severe clinical phenotype.
Midbrain–hindbrain malformations (MHM) may coexist with malformations of cortical development (MCD). This study represents a first attempt to investigate the spectrum of MHM in a large series of patients with MCD and epilepsy. We aimed to explore specific associations between MCD and MHM and to compare two groups of patients: MCD with MHM (wMHM) and MCD without MHM (w/oMHM) with regard to clinical and imaging features.
Two hundred and twenty patients (116 women/104 men, median age 28 years, interquartile range 20–44 years at the time of assessment) with MCD and epilepsy were identified at the Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria. All underwent high-resolution MRIs (1.5-T) between 01.01.2002 and 31.12.2011. Midbrain–hindbrain structures were visually assessed by three independent raters.
MHM were seen in 17% (38/220) of patients. The rate of patients wMHM and w/oMHM differed significantly (p = 0.004) in three categories of MCD (category I – to abnormal neuronal proliferation; category II – to abnormal neuronal migration; and category III – due to abnormal neuronal late migration/organization): MCD due to abnormal neuronal migration (31%) and organization (23%) were more commonly associated with MHM compared to those with MCD due to abnormal neuronal proliferation (9%). Extensive bilateral MCD were seen more often in patients wMHM compared to those w/oMHM (63% vs. 36%; p = 0.004). In wMHM group compared to w/oMHM group there were higher rates of callosal dysgenesis (26% vs. 4%; p < 0.001) and hippocampal abnormalities (52% vs. 27%; p < 0.001). Patients wMHM were younger (median 25 years vs. 30 years; p = 0.010) at the time of assessment and had seizure onset at an earlier age (median 5 years vs. 12 years; p = 0.043) compared to those w/oMHM. Patients wMHM had higher rates of learning disability (71% vs. 38%; p < 0.001), delayed developmental milestones (68% vs. 35%; p < 0.001) and neurological deficits (66% vs. 47%; p = 0.049) compared to those w/oMHM.
The groups (wMHM and w/oMHM) did not differ in their response to antiepileptic treatment, seizure outcome, seizure types, EEG abnormalities and rate of status epilepticus. Presence of MHM in patients with MCD and epilepsy is associated with severe morphological and clinical phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC3885798  PMID: 23810707
Epilepsy; Cortical dysplasia; MRI; Developmental disorders; Midbrain–hindbrain
2.  Bilateral mesial temporal polymicrogyria: a case report 
BMJ Case Reports  2009;2009:bcr08.2008.0764.
Polymicrogyria is a malformation of cortical organisation morphologically marked by an irregular brain surface with multiple excessively folded small gyri. Cortical thickness is reduced but appears increased in some areas as a result of the fusion of small gyri. On magnetic resonance imaging polymicrogyria is delineated by an abnormal gyral pattern, increased cortical thickness and irregularity of the cortical–white matter junction.
PMCID: PMC3027789  PMID: 21686641
3.  Recurrent microdeletions at 15q11.2 and 16p13.11 predispose to idiopathic generalized epilepsies 
Brain  2009;133(1):23-32.
Idiopathic generalized epilepsies account for 30% of all epilepsies. Despite a predominant genetic aetiology, the genetic factors predisposing to idiopathic generalized epilepsies remain elusive. Studies of structural genomic variations have revealed a significant excess of recurrent microdeletions at 1q21.1, 15q11.2, 15q13.3, 16p11.2, 16p13.11 and 22q11.2 in various neuropsychiatric disorders including autism, intellectual disability and schizophrenia. Microdeletions at 15q13.3 have recently been shown to constitute a strong genetic risk factor for common idiopathic generalized epilepsy syndromes, implicating that other recurrent microdeletions may also be involved in epileptogenesis. This study aimed to investigate the impact of five microdeletions at the genomic hotspot regions 1q21.1, 15q11.2, 16p11.2, 16p13.11 and 22q11.2 on the genetic risk to common idiopathic generalized epilepsy syndromes. The candidate microdeletions were assessed by high-density single nucleotide polymorphism arrays in 1234 patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy from North-western Europe and 3022 controls from the German population. Microdeletions were validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and their breakpoints refined by array comparative genomic hybridization. In total, 22 patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy (1.8%) carried one of the five novel microdeletions compared with nine controls (0.3%) (odds ratio = 6.1; 95% confidence interval 2.8–13.2; χ2 = 26.7; 1 degree of freedom; P = 2.4 × 10−7). Microdeletions were observed at 1q21.1 [Idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE)/control: 1/1], 15q11.2 (IGE/control: 12/6), 16p11.2 IGE/control: 1/0, 16p13.11 (IGE/control: 6/2) and 22q11.2 (IGE/control: 2/0). Significant associations with IGEs were found for the microdeletions at 15q11.2 (odds ratio = 4.9; 95% confidence interval 1.8–13.2; P = 4.2 × 10−4) and 16p13.11 (odds ratio = 7.4; 95% confidence interval 1.3–74.7; P = 0.009). Including nine patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy in this cohort with known 15q13.3 microdeletions (IGE/control: 9/0), parental transmission could be examined in 14 families. While 10 microdeletions were inherited (seven maternal and three paternal transmissions), four microdeletions occurred de novo at 15q13.3 (n = 1), 16p13.11 (n = 2) and 22q11.2 (n = 1). Eight of the transmitting parents were clinically unaffected, suggesting that the microdeletion itself is not sufficient to cause the epilepsy phenotype. Although the microdeletions investigated are individually rare (<1%) in patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy, they collectively seem to account for a significant fraction of the genetic variance in common idiopathic generalized epilepsy syndromes. The present results indicate an involvement of microdeletions at 15q11.2 and 16p13.11 in epileptogenesis and strengthen the evidence that recurrent microdeletions at 15q11.2, 15q13.3 and 16p13.11 confer a pleiotropic susceptibility effect to a broad range of neuropsychiatric disorders.
PMCID: PMC2801323  PMID: 19843651
idiopathic generalized epilepsy; microdeletions; association; genetics
4.  Diagnosis and Treatment of Paroxysmal Dyskinesias Revisited 
Paroxysmal dyskinesias (PDs) are a rare group of hyperkinetic movement disorders mainly characterized by their episodic nature. Neurological examination may be entirely normal between the attacks. Three main types of PDs can be distinguished based on their precipitating events - (i) paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesias (PKD), (ii) paroxysmal non-kinesigenic dyskinesias (PNKD) and (iii) paroxysmal exercise-induced (exertion-induced) dyskinesias (PED). The diagnosis of PDs is based on their clinical presentation and precipitating events. Substantial progress has been made in the field of genetics and PDs. Treatment options mainly include anticonvulsants and benefit of treatment is depending on the type of PD. Most important differential diagnosis are non-epileptic psychogenic, non-epileptic organic and epileptic attack disorders, especially nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy.
PMCID: PMC3002546  PMID: 21180566
paroxysmal dyskinesia; paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia; paroxysmal non-kinesigenic dyskinesia; paroxysmal exercise-induced (exertion-induced) dyskinesia; epilepsy

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