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Am J Med Genet A. 2011 Nov;155A(11):2795-800. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.34237. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

A small homozygous microdeletion of 15q13.3 including the CHRNA7 gene in a girl with a spectrum of severe neurodevelopmental features.

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Pittsburgh Cytogenetics Laboratory, Center for Medical Genetics and Genomics, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


A broad spectrum of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders with variable expressivity has been reported to be associated with 15q13.3 heterozygous microdeletions. Using oligonucleotide-based array-CGH analysis, we identified a small homozygous 15q13.3 deletion in a 6-year-old girl with significant global developmental delay, severe hypotonia, cortical visual impairment, staring spell seizure, and abnormal electroencephalogram. She inherited this deletion from both parents, each of them being a heterozygous carrier. With a minimum size of 410 kb, it is the smallest 15q13.3 homozygous microdeletion reported to date and contains only the CHRNA7 gene. By comparing the phenotype of our patient with that of the other four previously reported cases with larger homozygous or compound heterozygous deletions, we conclude that patients with homozygous deletion of 15q13.3 have consistent clinical features and loss of CHRNA7 gene alone is sufficient to cause the majority of clinical features found in these patients.

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