Myoclonic epilepsies with onset in infancy and childhood are clinically and etiologically heterogeneous. Although genetic factors are thought: to play an important role, to date very little is known about the etiology of these disorders. We ascertained a large Italian pedigree segregating a recessive idiopathic myoclonic epilepsy that starts in early infancy as myoclonic seizures, febrile convulsions, and tonic-clonic seizures. We typed 304 microsatellite markers spanning the 22 autosomes and mapped the locus on chromosome 16p13 by linkage analysis. A maximum LOD score of 4.48 was obtained for marker D16S3027 at recombination fraction 0. Haplotype analysis placed the critical region within a 3.4-cM interval between D16S3024 and D16S423. The present report constitutes the first example of an idiopathic epilepsy that is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.
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