|Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy|
|Other names||Janz syndrome|
Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), also known as Janz syndrome, is a fairly common form of generalized epilepsy of presumed genetic origin (previously known an idiopathic generalized epilepsy),representing 5-10% of all epilepsy cases. This disorder typically first manifests itself between the ages of 12 and 18 with sudden brief involuntary single or multiple episodes of muscle(s) contractions caused by an abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. These events typically occur either early in the morning or upon sleep deprivation.
Additional clinical presentations include seizures with either a motor (tonic-clonic seizure) or nonmotor (absence seizure) generalized onset.Genetic studies have demonstrated several loci for JME and identified mutations in 4 genes.
The characteristic signs of JME are brief episodes of involuntary muscle twitching. These are brief episodes of involuntary muscle contractions occurring early in the morning or shortly before falling asleep. They are more common in the arms than in the legs and may result in dropping objects. Myoclonic jerks may as well appear in clusters. Other seizure types include those with either motor or non motor generalized onset. The onset of symptoms is generally around age 10-16 although some patients can present in their 20s or even early 30s. The myoclonic jerks generally precede the generalized tonic-clonic seizures by several months. Sleep deprivation is a major factor in triggering seizures in JME patients.
Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy is an inherited genetic syndrome, but the way in which this disorder is inherited is unclear. Frequently (17-49%) those with JME have relatives with a history of epileptic seizures. There is also a higher rate of females showing JME symptoms than males.The majority of JME cases have an onset in early childhood to puberty.
CACNB4 is a gene that encodes the calcium channel β subunit protein. β subunits are important regulators of calcium channel current amplitude, voltage dependence, and also regulate channel trafficking. In mice, a naturally occurring null mutation leads to the "lethargic" phenotype. This is characterized by ataxia and lethargic behaviour at early stages of development followed within days by the onset of both focal motor seizures as well as episodes of behavioural immobility which correlates with patterns of cortical spike and wave discharges at the EEG A premature-termination mutation R482X was identified in a patient with JME while an additional missense mutation C104F was identified in a German family with generalized epilepsy and praxis – induced seizures.
The R482X mutation results in increased current amplitudes and an accelerated fast time constant of inactivation.Whether these modest functional differences may be in charge of JME remains to be established. Calcium channel β4 subunit (CACNB4) is not strictly considered a putative JME gene because its mutation did not segregate in affected family members, and it was found in only one member of a JME family from Germany, and it has not been replicated.
GABRA1 is a gene that encodes for an α subunit of the GABA A receptor protein, which encodes one of the major inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors. There is one known mutation in this gene that is associated with JME, A322D, which is located in the third segment of the protein/sub>. This missense mutation results in channels with reduced peak GABA-evoked currents. Furthermore, the presence of such mutation alter the composition and reduce the expression of wild type GABAA receptors.
GABRD encodes the δ subunit of the GABA receptor, which is an important constituent of the GABAA receptor mediating tonic inhibition in neurons (extrasynaptic GABA receptors, i.e. receptors that are localized outside of the synapse).Among the mutations that have been reported in this in this gene, one (R220H) has been identified in a small family with JME. This mutation affects GABAergic transmission by altering the surface expression of the receptor as well as reducing the channel – opening duration.
The final known associated gene is EFHC1. Myoclonin1/EFHC1 encodes for a protein that has been known to play a wide range of roles from cell division, neuroblast migration and synapse/dendrite formation. EFHC1 is expressed in many tissues, including the brain, where it is localized to the soma and dendrites of neurons, particularly the hippocampal CA1 region, pyramidal neurons in the cerebral cortex, and Purkinje cells in the cerebellum.
There are four JME-causing mutations discovered (D210N, R221H, F229L and D253Y). The mutations do not seem to alter the ability of the protein to colocalize with centrosomes and mitotic spindles but induce mitotic spindle defects. Moreover, the mutations impact radial and tangential migration during brain development.As such a theory has been put forward that JME may be the result of a brain developmental disorder.
Three SNP alleles in BRD2, Cx-36 and ME2 and microdeletions in 15q13.3, 15q11.2 and 16p.13.11 also contribute risk to JME.
Diagnosis is typically made based on patient history. The physical examination is usually normal. The primary diagnosis for JME is a good knowledge of patient history and the neurologist's familiarity with the myoclonic jerks, which are the hallmark of the syndrome. Hz polyspike and slow wave discharges. These discharges may be evoked by photic stimulation (blinking lights) and/or hyperventilation.Additionally, an electroencephalogram (EEG), will indicate a characteristic pattern of waves and spikes associated with the syndrome such as generalized 4–6
Both a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI) and computed tomography scan (CT scan) generally appear normal in JME patients. However a number of quantitative MRI studies have reported focal or regional abnormalities of the subcortical and cortical grey matter, particularly the thalamus and frontal cortex, in JME patients.
The most effective anti-epileptic medication for JME is valproic acid (Depakote).Due to valproic acid's high incidence of fetal malformations, women of child-bearing age are started on alternative medications such as Lamotrigine, levetiracetam. Carbamazepine may aggravate genetic generalized epilepsies and as such its use should be avoided in JME. Treatment is lifelong. Patients should be warned to avoid sleep deprivation.
The first citation of JME was made in 1857 when Théodore Herpin described a 13-year-old boy suffering from myoclonic jerks, which progressed to tonic-clonic seizures three months later.In 1957, Janz and Christian published a journal article describing several patients with JME. The name Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy was proposed in 1975 and adopted by the International League Against Epilepsy.
Stand-up comedian Maisie Adam has JME and her award-winning show "Vague" (2018) discussed it.
The 2018 documentary film Separating The Strains dealt with the use of CBD oil to treat symptoms of JME.Currently, no scientific evidence exist to support the use of CBD oil to treat symptoms of JME.
Absence seizures are one of several kinds of generalized seizures. These seizures are sometimes referred to as petit mal seizures. Absence seizures are characterized by a brief loss and return of consciousness, generally not followed by a period of lethargy.
Lennox–Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a complex, rare, and severe childhood-onset epilepsy. It is characterized by multiple and concurrent seizure types, cognitive dysfunction, and slow spike waves on electroencephalogram (EEG). Typically, it presents in children aged 3–5 years and can persist into adulthood. It has been associated with several gene mutations, perinatal insults, congenital infections, brain tumors/malformations, and genetic disorders such as tuberous sclerosis and West syndrome. The prognosis for LGS is poor with a 5% mortality in childhood and persistent seizures into adulthood (80%–90%).
Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) is a fatal complication of epilepsy. It is defined as the sudden and unexpected, non-traumatic and non-drowning death of a person with epilepsy, without a toxicological or anatomical cause of death detected during the post-mortem examination.
Generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+) is a syndromic autosomal dominant disorder where afflicted individuals can exhibit numerous epilepsy phenotypes. GEFS+ can persist beyond early childhood. GEFS+ is also now believed to encompass three other epilepsy disorders: severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI), which is also known as Dravet's syndrome, borderline SMEI (SMEB), and intractable epilepsy of childhood (IEC). There are at least six types of GEFS+, delineated by their causative gene. Known causative genes are the sodium channel α subunit genes SCN1A, an associated β subunit SCN1B, and a GABAA receptor γ subunit gene, GABRG2 and there is another gene related with calcium channel the PCDH19 which is also known as Epilepsy Female with Mental Retardation. Penetrance for this disorder is estimated at approximately 60%.
Dravet syndrome, previously known as severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI), is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder which causes a catastrophic form of epilepsy, with prolonged seizures that are often triggered by hot temperatures or fever. It is very difficult to treat with anticonvulsant medications. It often begins before 1 year of age.
Childhood absence epilepsy (CAE), also known as pyknolepsy, is an idiopathic generalized epilepsy which occurs in otherwise normal children. The age of onset is between 4–10 years with peak age between 5–7 years. Children have absence seizures which although brief, they occur frequently, sometimes in the hundreds per day. The absence seizures of CAE involve abrupt and severe impairment of consciousness. Mild automatisms are frequent, but major motor involvement early in the course excludes this diagnosis. The EEG demonstrates characteristic "typical 3Hz spike-wave" discharges. Prognosis is excellent in well-defined cases of CAE with most patients "growing out" of their epilepsy.
Idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE) is a group of epileptic disorders that are believed to have a strong underlying genetic basis. Patients with an IGE subtype are typically otherwise normal and have no structural brain abnormalities. People also often have a family history of epilepsy and seem to have a genetically predisposed risk of seizures. IGE tends to manifest itself between early childhood and adolescence although it can be eventually diagnosed later. The genetic cause of some IGE types is known, though inheritance does not always follow a simple monogenic mechanism.
Autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy is an epileptic disorder that causes frequent violent seizures during sleep. These seizures often involve complex motor movements, such as hand clenching, arm raising/lowering, and knee bending. Vocalizations such as shouting, moaning, or crying are also common. ADNFLE is often misdiagnosed as nightmares. Attacks often occur in clusters and typically first manifest in childhood. There are four known loci for ADNFLE, three with known causative genes. These genes, CHRNA4, CHRNB2, and CHRNA2, encode various nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α and β subunits.
Unverricht–Lundborg disease is the most common form of an uncommon group of genetic epilepsy disorders called the progressive myoclonus epilepsies. It is caused due to a mutation in the cystatin B gene (CSTB). The disease is named after Heinrich Unverricht, who first described it in 1891, and Herman Bernhard Lundborg, who researched it in greater detail in 1901 and 1903. ULD onsets in children between the ages of 6 and 16; there are no known cases in which the person was older than 18. Most cases originate from the Baltic region of Europe, though many have been reported from countries in the Mediterranean.
Episodic ataxia (EA) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by sporadic bouts of ataxia with or without myokymia. There are seven types recognized but the majority are due to two recognized entities. Ataxia can be provoked by psychological stress or startle, or heavy exertion, including exercise. Symptoms can first appear in infancy. There are at least six loci for EA, of which 4 are known genes. Some patients with EA also have migraine or progressive cerebellar degenerative disorders, symptomatic of either familial hemiplegic migraine or spinocerebellar ataxia. Some patients respond to acetazolamide though others do not.
Progressive myoclonus epilepsy (PME) is a rare epilepsy syndrome caused by a variety of genetic disorders. The syndrome includes myoclonic seizures and tonic-clonic seizures together with progressive neurological decline.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor subunit gamma-2 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the GABRG2 gene.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor subunit beta-3 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the GABRB3 gene. It is located within the 15q12 region in the human genome and spans 250kb. This gene includes 10 exons within its coding region. Due to alternative splicing, the gene codes for many protein isoforms, all being subunits in the GABAA receptor, a ligand-gated ion channel. The beta-3 subunit is expressed at different levels within the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum, thalamus, olivary body and piriform cortex of the brain at different points of development and maturity. GABRB3 deficiencies are implicated in many human neurodevelopmental disorders and syndromes such as Angelman syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, nonsyndromic orofacial clefts, epilepsy and autism. The effects of methaqualone and etomidate are mediated through GABBR3 positive allosteric modulation.
Nav1.1, also known as the sodium channel, voltage-gated, type I, alpha subunit (SCN1A), is a protein which in humans is encoded by the SCN1A gene.
Voltage-dependent L-type calcium channel subunit beta-4 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the CACNB4 gene.
EF-hand domain-containing protein 1 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the EFHC1 gene.
Spike-and-wave is a pattern of the electroencephalogram (EEG) typically observed during epileptic seizures. A spike-and-wave discharge is a regular, symmetrical, generalized EEG pattern seen particularly during absence epilepsy, also known as ‘petit mal’ epilepsy. The basic mechanisms underlying these patterns are complex and involve part of the cerebral cortex, the thalamocortical network, and intrinsic neuronal mechanisms. The first spike-and-wave pattern was recorded in the early twentieth century by Hans Berger. Many aspects of the pattern are still being researched and discovered, and still many aspects are uncertain. The spike-and-wave pattern is most commonly researched in absence epilepsy, but is common in several epilepsies such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Ohtahara syndrome. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are commonly prescribed to treat epileptic seizures, and new ones are being discovered with fewer adverse effects. Today, most of the research is focused on the origin of the generalized bilateral spike-and-wave discharge. One proposal suggests that a thalamocortical (TC) loop is involved in the initiation spike-and-wave oscillations. Although there are several theories, the use of animal models has provided new insight on spike-and-wave discharge in humans.
Epilepsy-intellectual disability in females also known as PCDH19 gene-related epilepsy or epileptic encephalopathy, early infantile, 9 (EIEE9), is a rare type of epilepsy that affects predominately females and is characterized by clusters of brief seizures, which start in infancy or early childhood, and is occasionally accompanied by varying degrees of cognitive impairment. The striking pattern of onset seizures at a young age, genetic testing and laboratory results, potential developmental delays or developmental regression and associated disorders, eases diagnosis.
EF-hand domain (C-terminal) containing 2 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the EFHC2 gene.
People with epilepsy may be classified into different syndromes based on specific clinical features. These features include the age at which seizures begin, the seizure types, and EEG findings, among others. Identifying an epilepsy syndrome is useful as it helps determine the underlying causes as well as deciding what anti-seizure medication should be tried. Epilepsy syndromes are more commonly diagnosed in infants and children. Some examples of epilepsy syndromes include benign rolandic epilepsy, childhood absence epilepsy and juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Severe syndromes with diffuse brain dysfunction caused, at least partly, by some aspect of epilepsy, are also referred to as epileptic encephalopathies. These are associated with frequent seizures that are resistant to treatment and severe cognitive dysfunction, for instance Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and West syndrome.