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The Causes of Epilepsy The Causes of Epilepsy
Common and Uncommon Causes in Adults and Children
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Chapter 19 - Mitochondrial cytopathies

from Section 3 - Symptomatic epilepsy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2012

Simon D. Shorvon
Affiliation:
National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London
Frederick Andermann
Affiliation:
Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute
Renzo Guerrini
Affiliation:
Child Neurology Unit, Meyer Pediatric Hospital, Florence
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Summary

This chapter focuses on disorders due to mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) dysfunction and use the collective term mitochondrial cytopathy. It discusses two mtDNA disorders, myoclonus epilepsy with ragged red fibers (MERRF) and mitochondrial myopathy encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS). Epilepsy occurs primarily in the group of patients that develop stroke-like lesions (SLL) and seizures are often preceded by or associated with migraine-like headache. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy can demonstrate elevated lactate in regions of the brain, while positron emission tomography (PET) scanning can provide metabolic information suggesting lowered ATP production. Convulsive status epilepticus (CSE) is treated aggressively using traditional protocols. Benzodiazepine infusion is evaluated as a first line together with phosphenytoin and occasionally phenobarbital. The epilepsies in mitochondrial cytopathies often reveal both focal and generalized features. Treatment of mitochondrial cytopathies comprises awareness of the potential complications and early and aggressive control of seizures.
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The Causes of Epilepsy
Common and Uncommon Causes in Adults and Children
, pp. 147 - 157
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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