VI LEVERER VIDEN
Amplexa Genetics har i samarbejde med tre tyske laboratorier; Center of Human Genetics and Laboratory Diagnostics, CEGAT og Medical Genetics Center, fået godkendt og publiceret artiklen ”Next Generation Sequencing in Pediatric Epilepsy Using Customized Panels: Size Matters”.
I denne artikel er sammenhængen mellem størrelsen af genpaneler og det diagnostiske udbytte, for børn med epilepsi, undersøgt. De to størrelser af genpaneler, som er anvendt i denne undersøgelse, er henholdsvis <25 kb og >25 kb. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) kan anvendes til at identificere monogenetiske epilepsi syndromer.
Denne retrospektive kohortestudie har via NGS samlet data fra 190 patienter, der var diagnosticeret med epilepsi af ukendt etiologi.
Undersøgelen indikerer, at større genpaneler, sammenlignet med mindre paneler, viser et signifikant højere diagnostisk udbytte, specielt hos non-developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (non-DEE) patienter.
Find publikationen her: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33086385/
Incorporating Epilepsy genetics into clinical practice: A 360° evaluation.
We evaluated a new epilepsy genetic diagnostic and counseling service covering a UK population of 3.5 million. We calculated diagnostic yield, estimated clinical impact, and surveyed referring clinicians and families. We costed alternative investigational pathways for neonatal onset epilepsy. Patients with epilepsy of unknown aetiology onset < 2 years; treatment resistant epilepsy; or familial epilepsy were referred for counseling and testing. We developed NGS panels, performing clinical interpretation with a multidisciplinary team. We held an educational workshop for paediatricians and nurses. We sent questionnaires to referring paediatricians and families. We analysed investigation costs for 16 neonatal epilepsy patients. Of 96 patients, a genetic diagnosis was made in 34% of patients with seizure onset < 2 years, and 4% > 2 years, with turnaround time of 21 days. Pathogenic variants were seen in SCN8A, SCN2A, SCN1A, KCNQ2, HNRNPU, GRIN2A, SYNGAP1, STXBP1, STX1B, CDKL5, CHRNA4, PCDH19 and PIGT. Clinician prediction was poor. Clinicians and families rated the service highly. In neonates, the cost of investigations could be reduced from £9362 to £2838 by performing gene panel earlier and the median diagnostic delay of 3.43 years reduced to 21 days. Panel testing for epilepsy has a high yield among children with onset < 2 years, and an appreciable clinical and financial impact. Parallel gene testing supersedes single gene testing in most early onset cases that do not show a clear genotype-phenotype correlation. Clinical interpretation of laboratory results, and in-depth discussion of implications for patients and their families, necessitate multidisciplinary input and skilled genetic counseling.
Find the publication here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29760947/
Impact on Clinical Decision Making of Next-Generation Sequencing in Pediatric Epilepsy in a Tertiary Epilepsy Referral Center
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) describes new powerful techniques of nucleic acid analysis, which allow not only disease gene identification diagnostics but also applications for transcriptome/methylation analysis and meta-genomics. NGS helps identify many monogenic epilepsy syndromes. Pediatric epilepsy patients can be tested using NGS epilepsy panels to diagnose them, thereby influencing treatment choices. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of genetic testing on clinical decision making in pediatric epilepsy patients. Methods. We completed a single-center retrospective cohort study of 91 patients (43 male) aged 19 years or less undergoing NGS with epilepsy panels differing in size ranging from 5 to 434 genes from October 2013 to September 2017. Results. During a mean time of 3.6 years between symptom onset and genetic testing, subjects most frequently showed epileptic encephalopathy (40%), focal epilepsy (33%), and generalized epilepsy (18%). In 16 patients (18% of the study population), "pathogenic" or "likely pathogenic" results according to ACMG criteria were found. Ten of the 16 patients (63%) experienced changes in clinical management regarding their medication and avoidance of further diagnostic evaluation, that is, presurgical evaluation. Conclusion. NGS epilepsy panels contribute to the diagnosis of pediatric epilepsy patients and may change their clinical management with regard to both preventing unnecessary and potentially harmful diagnostic procedures and management. Thus, the present data support the early implementation in order to adopt clinical management in selected cases and prevent further invasive investigations. Given the relatively small sample size and heterogeneous panels a larger prospective study with more homogeneous panels would be helpful to further determine the impact of NGS on clinical decision making.
Keywords: clinical decision making; epilepsy; gene panel; next-generation sequencing (NGS); seizure.
Find the publication here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31554424/
Utility of genetic testing for therapeutic decision-making in adults with epilepsy
Objective: Genetic testing has become a routine part of the diagnostic workup in children with early onset epilepsies. In the present study, we sought to investigate a cohort of adult patients with epilepsy, to determinate the diagnostic yield and explore the gain of personalized treatment approaches in adult patients.
Methods: Two hundred patients (age span = 18-80 years) referred for diagnostic gene panel testing at the Danish Epilepsy Center were included. The vast majority (91%) suffered from comorbid intellectual disability. The medical records of genetically diagnosed patients were mined for data on epilepsy syndrome, cognition, treatment changes, and seizure outcome following the genetic diagnosis.
Results: We found a genetic diagnosis in 46 of 200 (23%) patients. SCN1A, KCNT1, and STXBP1 accounted for the greatest number of positive findings (48%). More rare genetic findings included SLC2A1, ATP6A1V, HNRNPU, MEF2C, and IRF2BPL. Gene-specific treatment changes were initiated in 11 of 46 (17%) patients (one with SLC2A1, 10 with SCN1A) following the genetic diagnosis. Ten patients improved, with seizure reduction and/or increased alertness and general well-being.
Significance: With this study, we show that routine diagnostic testing is highly relevant in adults with epilepsy. The diagnostic yield is similar to previously reported pediatric cohorts, and the genetic findings can be useful for therapeutic decision-making, which may lead to better seizure control, ultimately improving quality of life.
Keywords: NGS; adults; gene panel; genetic testing.
Find the publication here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32427350/
Background: Based on an initial collecting of database sequences from the gap junction protein gene family (also called connexin genes) in a few teleosts, the naming of these sequences appeared variable. The reasons could be (i) that the structure in this family is variable across teleosts, or (ii) unfortunate naming. Rather clear rules for the naming of genes in fish and mammals have been outlined by nomenclature committees, including the naming of orthologous and ohnologous genes. We therefore analyzed the connexin gene family in teleosts in more detail. We covered the range of divergence times in teleosts (eel, Atlantic herring, zebrafish, Atlantic cod, three-spined stickleback, Japanese pufferfish and spotted pufferfish; listed from early divergence to late divergence).
Results: The gene family pattern of connexin genes is similar across the analyzed teleosts. However, (i) several nomenclature systems are used, (ii) specific orthologous groups contain genes that are named differently in different species, (iii) several distinct genes have the same name in a species, and (iv) some genes have incorrect names. The latter includes a human connexin pseudogene, claimed as GJA4P, but which in reality is Cx39.2P (a delta subfamily gene often called GJD2like). We point out the ohnologous pairs of genes in teleosts, and we suggest a more consistent nomenclature following the outlined rules from the nomenclature committees. We further show that connexin sequences can indicate some errors in two high-quality chromosome assemblies that became available very recently.
Conclusions: Minimal consistency exists in the present practice of naming teleost connexin genes. A consistent and unified nomenclature would be an advantage for future automatic annotations and would make various types of subsequent genetic analyses easier. Additionally, roughly 5% of the connexin sequences point out misassemblies in the new high-quality chromosome assemblies from herring and cod.
Severe early onset epilepsies are often caused by de novo pathogenic variants. Few studies have reported the frequency of somatic mosaicism in parents of children with severe epileptic encephalopathies. Here we aim to investigate the frequency of mosaicism in the parents of children with epilepsy caused by alleged de novo variants. We tested parental genomic DNA derived from different tissues for 75 cases using targeted next-generation sequencing. Five parents (6.6%) showed mosaicism at minor allele frequencies of 0.8%-29% for the pathogenic variant detected in their offspring. Parental mosaicism was observed in the following genes: SCN1A, SCN2A, SCN8A, and STXBP1. One of the identified parents had epilepsy himself. Our results show that de novo events can occur already in parental tissue and in some cases can be detected in peripheral blood. Consequently, parents affected by low-grade mosaicism are faced with an increased recurrence risk for transmitting the pathogenic variant, compared to the overall recurrence risk for a second affected child estimated at approximately 1%. However, testing for parental somatic mosaicism will help identifying those parents who truly are at higher risk and will significantly improve genetic counseling in the respective families.
Keywords: de novo variants; epileptic encephalopathies; next-generation sequencing; parental mosaicism; recurrence risk.
The sex determination system of Atlantic herring Clupea harengus L., a commercially important fish, was investigated. Low coverage whole-genome sequencing of 48 females and 55 males and a genome-wide association study revealed two regions on chromosomes 8 and 21 associated with sex. The genotyping data of the single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with sex showed that 99.4% of the available female genotypes were homozygous, whereas 68.6% of the available male genotypes were heterozygous. This is close to the theoretical expectation of homo/heterozygous distribution at low sequencing coverage when the males are factually heterozygous. This suggested a male heterogametic sex determination system in C. harengus, consistent with other species within the Clupeiformes group. There were 76 protein coding genes on the sex regions but none of these genes were previously reported master sex regulation genes, or obviously related to sex determination. However, many of these genes are expressed in testis or ovary in other species, but the exact genes controlling sex determination in C. harengus could not be identified.
Keywords: Clupea harengus; Atlantic herring; genome-wide association study; sex determination.
Analysis of shared heritability in common disorders of the brain
Disorders of the brain can exhibit considerable epidemiological comorbidity and often share symptoms, provoking debate about their etiologic overlap. We quantified the genetic sharing of 25 brain disorders from genome-wide association studies of 265,218 patients and 784,643 control participants and assessed their relationship to 17 phenotypes from 1,191,588 individuals. Psychiatric disorders share common variant risk, whereas neurological disorders appear more distinct from one another and from the psychiatric disorders. We also identified significant sharing between disorders and a number of brain phenotypes, including cognitive measures. Further, we conducted simulations to explore how statistical power, diagnostic misclassification, and phenotypic heterogeneity affect genetic correlations. These results highlight the importance of common genetic variation as a risk factor for brain disorders and the value of heritability-based methods in understanding their etiology.
Objective: Voltage-gated sodium channels (SCNs) share similar amino acid sequence, structure, and function. Genetic variants in the four human brain-expressed SCN genes SCN1A/2A/3A/8A have been associated with heterogeneous epilepsy phenotypes and neurodevelopmental disorders. To better understand the biology of seizure susceptibility in SCN-related epilepsies, our aim was to determine similarities and differences between sodium channel disorders, allowing us to develop a broader perspective on precision treatment than on an individual gene level alone.
Methods: We analyzed genotype-phenotype correlations in large SCN-patient cohorts and applied variant constraint analysis to identify severe sodium channel disease. We examined temporal patterns of human SCN expression and correlated functional data from in vitro studies with clinical phenotypes across different sodium channel disorders.
Results: Comparing 865 epilepsy patients (504 SCN1A, 140 SCN2A, 171 SCN8A, four SCN3A, 46 copy number variation [CNV] cases) and analysis of 114 functional studies allowed us to identify common patterns of presentation. All four epilepsy-associated SCN genes demonstrated significant constraint in both protein truncating and missense variation when compared to other SCN genes. We observed that age at seizure onset is related to SCN gene expression over time. Individuals with gain-of-function SCN2A/3A/8A missense variants or CNV duplications share similar characteristics, most frequently present with early onset epilepsy (<3 months), and demonstrate good response to sodium channel blockers (SCBs). Direct comparison of corresponding SCN variants across different SCN subtypes illustrates that the functional effects of variants in corresponding channel locations are similar; however, their clinical manifestation differs, depending on their role in different types of neurons in which they are expressed.
Significance: Variant function and location within one channel can serve as a surrogate for variant effects across related sodium channels. Taking a broader view on precision treatment suggests that in those patients with a suspected underlying genetic epilepsy presenting with neonatal or early onset seizures (<3 months), SCBs should be considered.
Congenital disorders of glycosylation are a growing group of rare genetic disorders caused by deficient protein and lipid glycosylation. Here, we report the clinical, biochemical, and molecular features of seven patients from four families with GALNT2-congenital disorder of glycosylation (GALNT2-CDG), an O-linked glycosylation disorder. GALNT2 encodes the Golgi-localized polypeptide N-acetyl-d-galactosamine-transferase 2 isoenzyme. GALNT2 is widely expressed in most cell types and directs initiation of mucin-type protein O-glycosylation. All patients showed loss of O-glycosylation of apolipoprotein C-III, a non-redundant substrate for GALNT2. Patients with GALNT2-CDG generally exhibit a syndrome characterized by global developmental delay, intellectual disability with language deficit, autistic features, behavioural abnormalities, epilepsy, chronic insomnia, white matter changes on brain MRI, dysmorphic features, decreased stature, and decreased high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Rodent (mouse and rat) models of GALNT2-CDG recapitulated much of the human phenotype, including poor growth and neurodevelopmental abnormalities. In behavioural studies, GALNT2-CDG mice demonstrated cerebellar motor deficits, decreased sociability, and impaired sensory integration and processing. The multisystem nature of phenotypes in patients and rodent models of GALNT2-CDG suggest that there are multiple non-redundant protein substrates of GALNT2 in various tissues, including brain, which are critical to normal growth and development.
Epidemiology and outcome of idiopathic generalized epilepsy in adults
Background and purpose: Drug-resistant idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE) remains challenging despite a favourable overall prognosis of IGE, and little is known about basic epidemiology and long-term outcome of drug-resistant IGE. The aim of the study was to describe the incidence, prevalence and outcome of IGE in an unbiased, population-based cohort.
Methods: In 2014-2018, all patients (≥17 years) with IGE inhabiting the island of Funen (496 000 inhabitants) were recruited. The socioeconomic and clinical information available for 406 individuals was assessed. Median follow-up was 15 years.
Results: The average IGE incidence (2008-2017) was 2.9/100 000 inhabitants/year. The point prevalence of identifiable IGE patients was 1.0/1000 adults (juvenile myoclonic epilepsy 0.4/1000; absence epilepsy 0.3/1000, epilepsy with generalized tonic-clonic seizures alone 0.3/1000); 92.1% of the patients were diagnosed before 25 years of age. When correcting for unequal age distribution in the cohort, 1102 people on the island of Funen fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for IGE at the age of 25 (estimated prevalence 2.7/1000 adults). In the year before data closure, 121 patients reported seizures. Fifty patients met the definition of drug-resistant IGE (12.1% of the cohort, 4.5% of the estimated 1102 IGE patients). The average seizure burden of all patients with drug-resistant IGE was 2.2 generalized tonic-clonic seizures per year; only 14 patients suffered more than two generalized tonic-clonic seizures per year. Drug-resistant IGE was associated with an increased risk of requiring treatment for affective disorders and a reduced probability of working full time.
Conclusion: Idiopathic generalized epilepsy was associated with a low risk of persistent drug-resistant seizures requiring specialist medical attention. Drug resistance was associated with a negative socioeconomic outcome.
Keywords: burden of disease; drug resistance; epidemiology; genetic generalized epilepsy; idiopathic; incidence; outcome; prevalence.