New model provides objective prediction of Dravet syndrome vs milder "genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus" in children

Abstract

Background and objectives: Pathogenic variants in the neuronal sodium channel α1 subunit gene (SCN1A) are the most frequent monogenic cause of epilepsy. Phenotypes comprise a wide clinical spectrum, including severe childhood epilepsy; Dravet syndrome, characterized by drug-resistant seizures, intellectual disability, and high mortality; and the milder genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+), characterized by normal cognition. Early recognition of a child's risk for developing Dravet syndrome vs GEFS+ is key for implementing disease-modifying therapies when available before cognitive impairment emerges. Our objective was to develop and validate a prediction model using clinical and genetic biomarkers for early diagnosis of SCN1A-related epilepsies.