Background.—Familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) is an autosomal dominant disorder, which can result from mutations in the CACNA1A (FHM1) and ATP1A2 (FHM2) genes. Typically, FHM presents with an aura of hemiplegia accompanied by a moderate-to-severe headache. FHM can be associated with other neurological findings including coma and seizures.
Methods.—We describe the clinical and genetic features of a two-generation, seven-member Native Indian family with recurrent encephalopathy and FHM.
Results.—Two of the three affected family members presented initially with encephalopathy, the third family member presented with classic episodes of migraine and hemiparesis. The CACNA1A gene locus was excluded in this family by haplotype analysis and no mutations were identified in the coding region of the ATP1A2 gene by direct sequencing.
Conclusions.—This emphasizes the genetic and clinical heterogeneity in familial hemiplagic migraine FHM and highlights the need to consider the diagnosis of FHM in cases of recurrent encephalopathy.