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Seizure. 2003 Sep;12(6):388-96.

Epilepsy in vacuolating megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts.

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  • 1Division of Child Neurology, Department of Neurology, Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.


Vacuolating megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts (MLC) is a disorder characterised by acquired macrocephaly, developmental motor delay of varying degrees, slowly progressive cerebellar and pyramidal signs, and initially preserved intellectual function. More than 60% of the published cases had epileptic seizures. In this study, we analysed the seizures and EEG findings of nine patients with MLC. Six patients (66.6%) with moderate to severe neurological impairment had epilepsy, four with partial and two with generalised seizures. The EEG of five epileptic patients revealed epileptogenic foci over the temporal, frontal and parietal regions with variable predominance during waking and sleep. The facilitation of spike-and-wave paroxysms by eye closure, by intermittent photic stimulation and by hyperventilation were determined in four patients. Four patients also showed abnormalities in the background activity. In conclusion, we think that epilepsy is a significant component of MLC compared to the other leukodystrophies. The elucidation of the underlying molecular defect may explain the unusual pathogenetic relation between this leukoencephalopathy and the associated seizures.

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