Genetic testing and the phenotype of Polish patients with Unverricht-Lundborg disease (EPM1) - A cohort study

Epilepsy Behav. 2020 Nov;112:107439. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2020.107439. Epub 2020 Sep 10.


Aim of the study: The aim of this study was to explore genetic findings and the phenotype in Polish patients with Unverricht-Lundborg disease (ULD).

Materials and methods: We retrospectively evaluated mutations in the cystatin B (CSTB) gene and clinical presentation in a cohort of patients with ULD. The study population consisted of 19 (14 males) patients with genetically confirmed disease.

Results: Sixteen patients were homozygous for the expanded dodecamer repeat mutation alleles, one subject was compound heterozygous for the dodecamer repeat expansion and other mutation, in two, the type of mutation has not yet been established. The numbers of repeats in the CSTB gene varied from 60 to 81. Clinical information was available for 16 subjects. The disease course was progressive in all patients, leading to severe disability, mainly due to myoclonus, in nine.

Conclusions and clinical implications: Genetic findings and the clinical picture of our patients with ULD were in accordance with available studies. The most common genetic defect underlying ULD was homozygosity for an unstable expansion of a dodecamer repeat in the CSTB gene. Patients with action or/and stimulus sensitive myoclonus or intractable myoclonus epilepsy, especially with onset in late childhood/adolescence should be screened for ULD.

Keywords: Epilepsy; Genetic testing; Molecular diagnosis; Myoclonus; Phenotype; Unverricht–Lundborg disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cystatin B / genetics
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Poland
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Unverricht-Lundborg Syndrome* / genetics


  • Cystatin B