Background: Mutations in the ATP1A3 gene are known to be the cause of three distinct neurological syndromes including alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC), rapid-onset dystonia parkinsonism (RDP) and cerebellar ataxia, arefexia, pes cavus, optic atrophy and sensorineural hearing impairment (CAPOS). Recent studies have suggested the broader diversity of ATP1A3-related disorders. This study aimed to investigate the clinical spectrum in patients carrying causative mutations within the ATP1A3 gene.
Method: The medical histories of nine unrelated patients with diverse phenotypes harboring variants in ATP1A3 were retrospectively analyzed after they were referred to a tertiary epilepsy center in one of the two different health care systems (Germany or Thailand). Clinical features, neurophysiological data, imaging results, genetic characteristics and treatments were reviewed.
Results: Three patients harbor novel mutations in the ATP1A3 gene. Atypical clinical features and imaging findings were observed in two cases, one with hemiplegia-hemiconvulsion-epilepsy syndrome, and the other with neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation. All nine patients presented with intellectual impairment. Alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) was the most common phenotype (67%). Flunarizine and topiramate led to symptom reduction in 83% and 25% of AHC cases administered, respectively.
Conclusion: The present case series expands the clinical and genetic spectrum of ATP1A3-related disorders.