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Genetic analysis of 27 Spanish patients with hemiplegic migraine, basilar-type migraine and childhood periodic syndromes


Bru Cormand, PhD, Departament de Genètica, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 645, edifici annex, 3a planta, 08028 Barcelona, Spain. Tel. + 34 93 4021013, fax + 34 93 4034420, e-mail


Familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) is a rare type of migraine with aura. Mutations in three genes have been described in FHM patients: CACNA1A (FHM1), ATP1A2 (FHM2) and SCN1A (FHM3). We screened 27 Spanish patients with hemiplegic migraine (HM), basilar-type migraine or childhood periodic syndromes (CPS) for mutations in these three genes. Two novel CACNA1A variants, p.Val581Met and p.Tyr1245Cys, and a previously annotated change, p.Cys1534Ser, were identified in individuals with HM, although they have not yet been proven to be pathogenic. Interestingly, p.Tyr1245Cys was detected in a patient displaying a changing, age-specific phenotype that began as benign paroxysmal torticollis of infancy, evolving into benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood and later becoming HM. This is the first instance of a specific non-synonymous base change being described in a subject affected with CPS. The fact that the molecular screen identified non-synonymous changes in < 15% of our HM patients further stresses the genetic heterogeneity underlying the presumably monogenic forms of migraine.