Purpose: To report in detail the electroclinical features of a large family in which we recently identified a missense mutation (M145T) of a well-conserved amino acid in the first transmembrane segment of domain I of the human SCN1A. We showed that the mutation is associated with a loss of SCN1A function.
Methods: The family originates from southern Italy and contains 35 members spread over four generations. Of the 14 affected individuals, the 13 still living members (7 males, mean age 36.6 +/- 20.4) underwent a complete electroclinical evaluation.
Results: All 13 affected family members had febrile seizures (FS) up to the age of 6 years. Age at onset of FS ranged from 5 to 45 months with a mean age of 12.8 +/- 12.9 months. One of the 13 was affected by post-traumatic epilepsy. Three of the 13 later developed temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) with both simple focal seizures, and also very rare focal complex or nocturnal secondary generalized tonic-clonic seizures. In two of the three patients who later developed TLE, the MRI studies revealed mesial temporal sclerosis.
Conclusions: Our findings illustrate that SCN1A mutations can cause simple FS associated with TLE, which differ from the characteristic clinical spectrum of GEFS+. It is open to conjecture if this unusual phenotype might at least in part be related to the fact that M145T is the first missense mutation found in DIS1 of SCN1A.