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Epilepsy Behav. 2006 May;8(3):635-42. Epub 2006 Apr 3.

Cognitive performance of patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy is not associated with human prion protein gene variant allele at codons 129 and 171.

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CIREP, Centro de Cirurgia de Epilepsia, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo (FMRP-USP), and Centro de Tratamento e Pesquisa Hospital do Câncer, Brazil.

Erratum in

  • Epilepsy Behav. 2008 Jan;12(1):210-3.


Cognitive impairment has long been recognized in people with medically refractory epilepsies. Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy related to hippocampal sclerosis (MTLE-HS), the most common surgically remediable epileptic syndrome, has been associated with a cellular prion protein (PrPc) gene (Prnp) variant allele at codon 171. The polymorphism consisting of a methionine-for-valine substitution at codon 129 has been associated with early cognitive deterioration in elderly people and patients with Down syndrome. The same variant allele in homozygosis (V129V) has been associated to a lower long-term memory in healthy humans. PrPc mediates several processes related to neuroplasticity, and its role in cognitive processes remains unknown. In this study, we evaluated the genetic contribution of Prnp alleles to cognitive performance in patients with MTLE-HS. Cognitive performance, measured with 19 neuropsychological tests, of patients with refractory MTLE-HS with the normal Prnp genotypes was compared with that of patients with the variant alleles at codons 129 and 171. With the effects of clinical, demographic, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging variable interactions controlled by multiple linear regression analysis and adjustment for multiple test comparisons, the presence of Prnp variant alleles was found not to be significantly associated to cognitive performance of patients with MTLE-HS. The presence of variant alleles at codons 129 and 171 is not associated to cognitive performance of patients with refractory MTLE-HS.

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