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Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2012 Feb;12(1):62-9. doi: 10.1007/s11910-011-0238-3.

Novel insights into the pathomechanisms of skeletal muscle channelopathies.

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UCLH Foundation Trust, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, WC1N 3BG, UK.


The nondystrophic myotonias and primary periodic paralyses are an important group of genetic muscle diseases characterized by dysfunction of ion channels that regulate membrane excitability. Clinical manifestations vary and include myotonia, hyperkalemic and hypokalemic periodic paralysis, progressive myopathy, and cardiac arrhythmias. The severity of myotonia ranges from severe neonatal presentation causing respiratory compromise through to mild later-onset disease. It remains unclear why the frequency of attacks of paralysis varies greatly or why many patients develop a severe permanent fixed myopathy. Recent detailed characterizations of human genetic mutations in voltage-gated muscle sodium (gene: SCN4A), chloride (gene: CLCN1), calcium (gene: CACNA1S), and inward rectifier potassium (genes: KCNJ2, KCNJ18) channels have resulted in new insights into disease mechanisms, clinical phenotypic variation, and therapeutic options.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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