BACKGROUND: Mutations in the CACNA1A gene, encoding the pore-forming CaV2.1 (P/Q-type) channel α1A subunit, localized at presynaptic terminals of brain and cerebellar neurons, result in clinically variable neurological disorders including hemiplegic migraine (HM) and episodic or progressive adult-onset ataxia (EA2, SCA6). Most recently, CACNA1A mutations have been identified in patients with nonprogressive congenital ataxia (NPCA).
METHODS: We performed targeted resequencing of known genes involved in cerebellar dysfunction, in 48 patients with congenital or early onset ataxia associated with cerebellar and/or vermis atrophy.
RESULTS: De novo missense mutations of CACNA1A were found in four patients (4/48, ∼8.3%). Three of them developed migraine before or after the onset of ataxia. Seizures were present in half of the cases.
CONCLUSION: Our results expand the clinical and mutational spectrum of CACNA1A-related phenotype in childhood and suggest that CACNA1A screening should be implemented in this subgroup of ataxias.
- Journal Article