Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (hyperKPP) and paramyotonia congenita (PC) are genetic muscle disorders sharing the common features of myotonia and episodic weakness. In hyperKPP, patient symptoms and signs are worsened by elevated serum potassium, whereas in PC, muscle cooling exacerbates the condition. There are patients in whom features of both hyperKPP and PC are present. These diseases result from molecular alterations in the adult skeletal muscle sodium channel. This report summarizes our sodium channel mutation analysis in 25 families with hyperKPP and PC. We also report the putative disease-causing mutation in acetazolamide-responsive myotonia congenita, a related disease in which myotonia is worsened by potassium but in which episodic weakness does not occur. This missense mutation (I1160V) occurs at a very highly conserved position in the sodium channel, cosegregates with the disease, and was not present in any of a large panel of normal DNAs. Electrophysiologic characterization of specific mutations will lead to better understanding of the biophysics of this voltage-gated ion channel.