BACKGROUND: To investigate the genetic and environmental factors responsible for phenotype variability in a family carrying a novel CACNA1A missense mutation. Mutations in the CACNA1A gene were identified as responsible for at least three autosomal dominant disorders: FHM1 (Familial Hemiplegic Migraine), EA2 (Episodic Ataxia type 2), and SCA6 (Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 6). Overlapping clinical features within individuals of some families sharing the same CACNA1A mutation are not infrequent. Conversely, reports with distinct phenotypes within the same family associated with a common CACNA1A mutation are very rare.
CASE PRESENTATION: A clinical, molecular, neuroradiological, neuropsychological, and neurophysiological study was carried out in proband and his carrier mother. The new heterozygous missense variant c.4262G > A (p.Arg1421Gln) in the CACNA1A gene was detected in the two affected family members. The proband showed a complex clinical presentation characterized by developmental delay, poor motor coordination, hemiplegic migraine attacks, behavioral dysregulation, and EEG abnormalities. The mother showed typical episodic ataxia attacks during infancy with no other comorbidities and mild cerebellar signs at present neurological evaluation.
CONCLUSIONS: The proband and his mother exhibit two distinct clinical phenotypes. It can be hypothesized that other unknown modifying genes and/or environmental factors may cooperate to generate the wide intrafamilial variability.
- Calcium Channels/genetics
- Migraine with Aura/genetics
- Mutation, Missense
- Nystagmus, Pathologic/genetics