Clinical and electrophysiological findings in patients with phenylketonuria and epilepsy: Reflex features

Publication date: May 2018Source:Epilepsy & Behavior, Volume 82
Author(s): Senay Yildiz Celik, Nerses Bebek, Candan Gurses, Betul Baykan, Aysen Gokyigit
ObjectivePhenylketonuria (PKU) is the most common form of amino acid metabolism disorders with autosomal recessive inheritance. The brain damage can be prevented by early diagnosis and a phenylalanine-restricted diet. Untreated or late-treated patients may show mental retardation and other cognitive dysfunctions, as well as motor disability and/or epilepsy.MethodsThree patients with PKU and epilepsy were recognized to have reflex epileptic features, and there were ten consecutive adult patients with PKU and epilepsy who were evaluated retrospectively. Medical history, ages at diagnosis and therapy onset, age at seizure onset, seizure types and reflex features, neurological findings, cranial imaging, electroencephalography (EEG) findings, and final clinical condition were evaluated. Reflex epilepsy features were examined in detail.ResultsThe cases (6 females, 4 males) were diagnosed at ages between 3.5months and 12years. All patients had various degrees of mental–motor retardation and focal or generalized seizures with age at seizure onset varied between neonatal period and 15years. Three patients had febrile seizure, 3 patients had myoclonia, and 3 patients had status epilepticus. All patients had abnormal EEG findings except one. There was a slowing of background activity, and generalized discharges were observed in 7 patients; 3 of them had asymmetrical discharges. One patient had right hippocampal sclerosis (HS), and another patient had hypointensities in the basal ganglia and corpus callosum. Reflex features were clinically observed in 3 of the patients; however, EEG results did not show any related findings. One patient had reflex seizures triggered by photic stimuli, hot water, and startling; one by photic stimuli; and the other one by startling.ConclusionReports on the clinical and electrophysiological features of adult patients with PKU were scant. We emphasized that reflex clinical features may be observed in this metabolic disease, and focal epileptiform abnormalities and asymmetry may be present in electrophysiological evaluation besides the rare association with HS.