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J Med Genet. 2005 Sep;42(9):725-9.

ASPM mutations identified in patients with primary microcephaly and seizures.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Human autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH) is a heterogeneous disorder with at least six genetic loci (MCPH1-6), with MCPH5, caused by ASPM mutation, being the most common. Despite the high prevalence of epilepsy in microcephaly patients, microcephaly with frequent seizures has been excluded from the ascertainment of MCPH. Here, we report a pedigree with multiple affected individuals with microcephaly and seizures.

OBJECTIVE:

To identify the gene responsible for microcephaly and seizures in this pedigree.

METHODS:

Clinical assessments of three patients and brain MRIs of two patients were obtained. Genome-wide linkage screen with 10 k SNP microarray, fine mapping with microsatellite markers, and mutational analysis of the genomic DNA were performed on the pedigree.

RESULTS:

We found that the family was linked to the MCPH5 locus on chromosome 1q31.2-q32.1. We screened ASPM and identified a previously unreported nonsense mutation that introduced a premature stop codon in exon 18 of the ASPM gene.

CONCLUSIONS:

We thus expand the clinical spectrum of ASPM mutations by showing that they can occur in patients with seizures and that the history of seizures alone should not necessarily preclude the diagnosis of primary microcephaly.

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