Epilepsy in patients with advanced Fukuyama congenital muscular dystrophy

Brain Dev. 2021 Jan;43(1):106-110. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2020.06.017. Epub 2020 Jul 25.


Background: Recent advances in respiratory management have improved survival for patients with Fukuyama congenital muscular dystrophy (FCMD), characterized by congenital muscular dystrophy and brain malformation. Previous studies reported that more than half of patients exhibit seizures in childhood. However, little is known about epilepsy after childhood.

Methods: To elucidate the long-term clinical course of epilepsy, we retrospectively reviewed all medical records in nine patients (6 males, mean age 20.7 years) with FCMD diagnosed between 1981 and 2019.

Results: The follow-up periods ranged from 6 to 30 years (mean 18.4 years). A total of 75 EEG recordings were available from nine patients. In some patients, EEGs were normal during early childhood but tended to show paroxysmal discharges with age. Overall, epileptic seizures were observed in six patients. Except for one presenting with afebrile seizure at one year of age, the remaining five patients developed epilepsy between 13 and 22 years of age. The most common seizure type was focal impaired awareness seizure. After adolescence, four patients exhibited status epilepticus. Their convulsive movements of the seizures became less prominent with progression of the disease. At the last evaluation, most patients (5/6) had uncontrolled seizures.

Conclusions: Despite presence of distinct brain malformation, epileptic seizures may develop after childhood in FCMD patients. Our experience suggests that clinicians should be careful not to overlook epileptic seizures, especially in advanced-stage patients who had profound muscle weakness.

Keywords: Adolescence; Adulthood; Epilepsy; Fukuyama congenital muscular dystrophy; Status epilepticus.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Muscular Dystrophies / physiopathology
  • Nervous System Malformations
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / physiopathology
  • Walker-Warburg Syndrome / complications
  • Walker-Warburg Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Walker-Warburg Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult