Epilepsia Open (Dec 2023)

Refining the electroclinical spectrum of NPRL3‐related epilepsy: A novel multiplex family and literature review

  • Alice Dainelli,
  • Michele Iacomino,
  • Sara Rossato,
  • Samuela Bugin,
  • Monica Traverso,
  • Mariasavina Severino,
  • Stefano Gustincich,
  • Valeria Capra,
  • Marco Di Duca,
  • Federico Zara,
  • Marcello Scala,
  • Pasquale Striano

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 4
pp. 1314 – 1330


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Abstract Objective NPRL3‐related epilepsy (NRE) is an emerging condition set within the wide GATOR‐1 spectrum with a particularly heterogeneous and elusive phenotypic expression. Here, we delineated the genotype–phenotype spectrum of NRE, reporting an illustrative familial case and reviewing pertinent literature. Methods Through exome sequencing (ES), we investigated a 12‐year‐old girl with recurrent focal motor seizures during sleep, suggestive of sleep‐related hypermotor epilepsy (SHE), and a family history of epilepsy in siblings. Variant segregation analysis was performed by Sanger sequencing. All previously published NRE patients were thoroughly reviewed and their electroclinical features were analyzed and compared with the reported subjects. Results In the proband, ES detected the novel NPRL3 frameshift variant (NM_001077350.3): c.151_152del (p.Thr51Glyfs*5). This variant is predicted to cause a loss of function and segregated in one affected brother. The review of 76 patients from 18 publications revealed the predominance of focal‐onset seizures (67/74–90%), with mainly frontal and frontotemporal (32/67–47.7%), unspecified (19/67–28%), or temporal (9/67–13%) onset. Epileptic syndromes included familial focal epilepsy with variable foci (FFEVF) (29/74–39%) and SHE (11/74–14.9%). Fifteen patients out of 60 (25%) underwent epilepsy surgery, 11 of whom achieved complete seizure remission (11/15–73%). Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) type 2A was the most frequent histopathological finding. Significance We reported an illustrative NPRL3‐related epilepsy (NRE) family with incomplete penetrance. This condition consists of a heterogeneous spectrum of clinical and neuroradiological features. Focal‐onset motor seizures are predominant, and almost half of the cases fulfill the criteria for SHE or FFEVF. MRI‐negative cases are prevalent, but the association with malformations of cortical developments (MCDs) is significant, especially FCD type 2a. The beneficial impact of epilepsy surgery in patients with MCD‐related epilepsy further supports the inclusion of brain MRI in the workup of NRE patients.