Journal of Pediatric Epilepsy 2015; 04(01): 002-003
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1554732
Editorial
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Epilepsy in Numerical Chromosomal Abnormalities

Toshiyuki Yamamoto
1  Tokyo Women's Medical University Institute for Integrated Medical Sciences, Tokyo, Japan
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

13 November 2014

13 November 2014

Publication Date:
03 July 2015 (online)

Numerical chromosomal abnormalities cause a broad spectrum of clinical symptoms for children, including congenital malformations, developmental delay, and epilepsy. The combinations and significance of such symptoms are associated with specific chromosome regions. Prognosis of developmental delay and epilepsy also depends on the chromosomal regions affected. Many distinctive chromosomal deletion syndromes have been clinically recognized.

Miller–Dieker syndrome, due to the subtelomeric deletion of the short arm of chromosome 17, is one of the most characteristic chromosomal aberrations. Because patients with 17p monosomy show typical lissencephaly and distinctive facial features, they are easily recognized by the combinatory findings of clinical manifestations. Patients with 17p monosomy show variable deletion sizes. Accumulated genetic information regarding the size of 17p deletions and patients' clinical information led to the establishment of genotype–phenotype relationships and narrowed the causative chromosomal regions for each clinical finding.[1] The genes responsible for each clinical finding have been identified; LIS1 and YWHAE are the causative genes for lissencephaly and distinctive facial features, respectively.[2]

Such genotype–phenotype correlation studies have been accelerated by the development of genetic technologies. Microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) is one of such technologies. aCGH can accurately identify small chromosomal deletions at the molecular level.[3] Therefore, the resolution of genotype–phenotype correlation studies has been improved, and causative genes for clinical findings are more easily identified.

In this special issue, we provide reviews focused on various chromosome regions that are related to epilepsy, including 1p36 deletion syndrome, 2q24 deletions, Wolf–Hirschhorn syndrome (4p-), 9q34 deletions, Angelman syndrome (15q11.2), 16p11.2 deletion/duplication syndrome, ring(20) syndrome, and Xq28 duplication syndrome (MECP2). The 1p36 deletion syndrome is the most common among the subtelomeric deletion syndromes.[4] On the other hand, the Xq28 duplication syndrome is the most common among the chromosomal duplication syndromes.[5] The 16p11.2 deletion/duplication syndrome is newly established based on aCGH studies.[6] The 16p11.2 deletion of ∼600 kb is common among patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. However, clinical features are often nonspecific. Chromosomal deletions of the 2q24.3 region have also been identified using aCGH.[7] Sodium channel genes including SCN1A are located in this region as a clustering. Small deletions in this region have been identified in patients with intractable epilepsy. Chromosomal deletions of the 9q34.11 region are symbolic, because the causative gene for Ohtahara syndrome, STXBP1, was first identified in this region.[8] Both the 15q11.2 deletion and ring(20) syndrome are well-known chromosome aberrations. Recent progress related to these particular deletions has been reviewed.

As an invited editor of this special issue, I encouraged specialists from around the world to contribute reviews. However, all of the authors who agreed my proposals were from Japan. I am grateful to all of the contributing authors for their excellent reviews and timely submissions. The review process was kindly supported by the deputy editor, Professor Okumura, Aichi Medical University, Japan. I hope that the reviews provide a better understanding of chromosomal aberrations related to childhood epilepsy for the readers of this journal.