Malformations of cerebral development and clues from the peripheral nervous system: A systematic literature review

Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2022 Mar:37:155-164. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2021.08.006. Epub 2021 Aug 31.


Clinical manifestations of malformations of cortical development (MCD) are variable and can range from mild to severe intellectual disability, cerebral palsy and drug-resistant epilepsy. Besides common clinical features, non-specific or more subtle clinical symptoms may be present in association with different types of MCD. Especially in severely affected individuals, subtle but specific underlying clinical symptoms can be overlooked or overshadowed by the global clinical presentation. To facilitate the interpretation of genetic variants detailed clinical information is indispensable. Detailed (neurological) examination can be helpful in assisting with the diagnostic trajectory, both when referring for genetic work-up as well as when interpreting data from molecular genetic testing. This systematic literature review focusses on different clues derived from the neurological examination and potential further work-up triggered by these signs and symptoms in genetically defined MCDs. A concise overview of specific neurological findings and their associations with MCD subtype and genotype are presented, easily applicable in daily clinical practice. The following pathologies will be discussed: neuropathy, myopathy, muscular dystrophies and spastic paraplegia. In the discussion section, tips and pitfalls are illustrated to improve clinical outcome in the future.

Keywords: MCD; Muscular dystrophy; Myopathy; Polyneuropathy; Spastic paraplegia.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy* / complications
  • Epilepsy* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Malformations of Cortical Development* / genetics
  • Nervous System Malformations* / complications
  • Nervous System Malformations* / diagnosis
  • Nervous System Malformations* / genetics
  • Peripheral Nervous System / pathology