Mutations of the MECP2 gene should be considered early in males with hypotonia, developmental delay, profound intellectual impairment, and seizures, associated with a mother with psychosocial, cognitive, and gastrointestinal impairments.
Xq28 duplications including MECP2 are a well-known cause of severe mental retardation in males with seizures, muscular hypotonia, progressive spasticity, poor speech and recurrent infections that often lead to early death.
The clinical sensitivity of CDKL5 mutation screening among females with Rett-like features and negative MECP2 screening was 7.8% while the clinical sensitivity among females having cryptogenic intractable seizures with an onset before the ages of 12, 6 and 3 months were 4.7, 11.6 and 14.3%, respectively.
Misregulation of the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene has been found to cause a myriad of neurological disorders including autism, mental retardation, seizures, learning disabilities, and Rett syndrome.
In this study we screened several cohorts of children for CDKL5 mutations, totaling 316 patients, including individuals with a clinical diagnosis of RTT but who were negative forMECP2 mutations (n=102), males with X-linked mental retardation (n=9), patients with West syndrome (n=52), patients with autism (n=59), patients with epileptic encephalopathy (n=33), patients with Aicardi syndrome (n=7) and other patients with intellectual disability with or without seizures (n=54).
MECP2 mutations in females lead to Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by developmental stagnation and regression, loss of purposeful hand movements and speech, stereotypic hand movements, deceleration of brain growth, autonomic dysfunction and seizures.
Because most cases of RTT are caused by mutations in the MECP2 gene it is reasonable to assume that convulsions are based on common pathogenetic mechanisms and thus should have a similar response to antiepileptic drugs.
We have identified two mutations in this particular domain (S359P and E397K) in two boys who were screened for MECP2 mutations in a series of 23 mentally handicapped boys fitting the clinical description of the previously reported cases.