Autosomal Dominant Lateral Temporal Epilepsy: Clinical Spectrum, New Epitempin Mutations, and Genetic Heterogeneity in Seven European Families


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. R. Michelucci at Department of Neurosciences, Division of Neurology, Bellaria Hospital, via Altura, 3, 40139 Bologna, Italy. E-mail:


Summary: Purpose: To describe the clinical and genetic findings of seven additional pedigrees with autosomal dominant lateral temporal epilepsy (ADLTE).

Methods: A personal and family history was obtained from each affected and unaffected member, along with a physical and neurologic examination. Routine and sleep EEGs, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were performed in almost all the patients. DNAs from family members were typed with several microsatellite markers localized on either side of LGI1 at 10q24 and screened for LGI1 mutations.

Results:  The seven families included a total of 34 affected individuals (10 deceased). The age at onset ranged between 8 and 50 years (average, 22 years). Twenty-six patients had clear-cut focal (elementary, complex, or secondarily generalized) seizures, characterized by prominent auditory auras in 68% of the cases. Less frequent ictal symptoms were visual, psychic, or aphasic seizures, the latter occurring in isolation in one family. The attacks were rare and well controlled by antiepileptic drug treatment but recurred after drug discontinuation. Interictal EEGs were usually unrevealing. MRI or CT scans were negative. Analysis of LGI1/Epitempin exons failed to show mutations in three pedigrees. Linkage analysis strongly suggested exclusion of linkage in one of these families. We found two novel missense mutations, a T→C substitution in exon 6 at position 598, and a T→A transition in exon 8 at position 1295, the latter being detected in a family with aphasic seizures.

Conclusions: Our data confirm the inclusion of aphasic seizures within the ADLTE clinical spectrum, suggest the existence of locus heterogeneity in ADLTE, and provide new familial cases with LGI1 missense mutations associated with the disease.