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Epilepsia. 2006 Jan;47(1):211-4.

Mutation in filamin A causes periventricular heterotopia, developmental regression, and West syndrome in males.

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Department of Neurology, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.



Familial periventricular heterotopia (PH) represents a disorder of neuronal migration resulting in multiple gray-matter nodules along the lateral ventricular walls. Prior studies have shown that mutations in the filamin A (FLNA) gene can cause PH through an X-linked dominant pattern. Heterozygotic female patients usually remain asymptomatic until the second or third decade of life, when they may have predominantly focal seizures, whereas hemizygotic male fetuses typically die in utero. Recent studies have also reported mutations in FLNA in male patients with PH who are cognitively normal. We describe PH in three male siblings with PH due to FLNA, severe developmental regression, and West syndrome.


The study includes the three affected brothers and their parents. Video-EEG recordings and magnetic resonance image (MRI) scanning were performed on all individuals. Mutations for FLNA were detected by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on genomic DNA followed by single-stranded conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis or sequencing.


Two of the siblings are monozygotic twins, and all had West syndrome with hypsarrhythmia on EEG. MRI of the brain revealed periventricular nodules of cerebral gray-matter intensity, typical for PH. Mutational analyses demonstrated a cytosine-to-thymidine missense mutation (c. C1286T), resulting in a threonine-to-methionine amino acid substitution in exon 9 of the FLNA gene.


The association between PH and West syndrome, to our knowledge, has not been previously reported. Males with PH have been known to harbor FLNA mutations, although uniformly, they either show early lethality or survive and have a normal intellect. The current studies show that FLNA mutations can cause periventricular heterotopia, developmental regression, and West syndrome in male patients, suggesting that this type of FLNA mutation may contribute to severe neurologic deficits.

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