Epilepsy syndromes during the first year of life and the usefulness of an epilepsy gene panel.

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Epilepsy syndromes during the first year of life and the usefulness of an epilepsy gene panel.

Korean J Pediatr. 2018 Apr;61(4):101-107

Authors: Lee EH

Abstract
Recent advances in genetics have determined that a number of epilepsy syndromes that occur in the first year of life are associated with genetic etiologies. These syndromes range from benign familial epilepsy syndromes to early-onset epileptic encephalopathies that lead to poor prognoses and severe psychomotor retardation. An early genetic diagnosis can save time and overall cost by reducing the amount of time and resources expended to reach a diagnosis. Furthermore, a genetic diagnosis can provide accurate prognostic information and, in certain cases, enable targeted therapy. Here, several early infantile epilepsy syndromes with strong genetic associations are briefly reviewed, and their genotype-phenotype correlations are summarized. Because the clinical presentations of these disorders frequently overlap and have heterogeneous genetic causes, next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based gene panel testing represents a more powerful diagnostic tool than single gene testing. As genetic information accumulates, genetic testing will likely play an increasingly important role in diagnosing pediatric epilepsy. However, the efforts of clinicians to classify phenotypes in nondiagnosed patients and improve their ability to interpret genetic variants remain important in the NGS era.

PMID: 29713355 [PubMed]

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