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Neurology. 2000 Dec 12;55(11):1603-8.

Gray matter heterotopia.

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Neuroradiology Section, University of California, San Francisco, 94143-0628, USA.


Gray matter heterotopia are common malformations of cortical development. From a clinical perspective, affected patients are best divided into three groups: subependymal, subcortical, and band heterotopia (also called double cortex). Symptomatic women with subependymal heterotopia typically present with partial epilepsy during the second decade of life; development and neurologic examinations up to that point are typically normal. Symptoms in men with subependymal heterotopia vary, depending on whether they have the X-linked or autosomal form. Men with the X-linked form more commonly have associated CNS and visceral anomalies; their development is typically abnormal. Symptomatic men with the autosomal variety have clinical courses similar to symptomatic women. Both men and women with subcortical heterotopia typically have congenital fixed neurologic deficits and develop partial epilepsy during the second half of the first decade of life. The more extensive the subcortical heterotopia, the greater the deficit; bilateral heterotopia are almost invariably associated with severe developmental delay or mental retardation. In general, band heterotopia are seen exclusively in women; men with a mutation of the related gene (called XLIS or DCX) usually die in utero or have a much more severe brain anomaly. Symptoms in affected women vary from normal to severe developmental delay or mental retardation; the severity of the syndrome is related to the thickness of the band of arrested neurons. Nearly all affected patients that come to medical attention have epilepsy, with partial complex and atypical absence epilepsy being the most common syndromes. Some of the more severely affected patients develop attacks.

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