ACTA NEUROLOGICA BELGICA, vol.120, no.6, pp.1425-1432, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
BRAT1-related neurodevelopmental disorders are characterized by heterogeneous phenotypes with varying levels of clinical severity. Since the discovery ofBRAT1variants as the molecular etiology of lethal neonatal rigidity and multifocal seizure syndrome (RMFSL, OMIM 614498), these variants have also been identified in patients with milder clinical forms including neurodevelopmental disorder with cerebellar atrophy and with or without seizures (NEDCAS, OMIM 618056), epilepsy of infancy with migrating focal seizures (EIMFS), and congenital ataxia (CA). This study aims to examine the consequences and pathogenicity of a novel homozygous splice site variant inBRAT1in a patient presenting with migrating focal seizures since birth without prominent rigidity. The patient was born from a consanguineous marriage and has had seizures since the neonatal period. He presented with dysmorphic features, pontocerebellar hypoplasia, and migrating focal seizures. Despite supportive treatment, his symptoms rapidly progressed to intractable myoclonic seizures, bouts of apnea and bradycardia, and arrest of head growth, with no acquisition of developmental milestones. Clinical exome sequencing yielded a novel homozygous splice variant inBRAT1. Genetic analysis based on reverse transcription of the patient's RNA followed by PCR amplifications performed on synthesized cDNA and Sanger sequencing was undertaken, and the functional effect of aBRAT1variant on splicing machinery was demonstrated for the first time. The severe clinical presentation of migrating focal seizures and pontocerebellar hypoplasia in the absence of rigidity further expands the genotypic and phenotypic spectrum of BRAT1-related neurodevelopmental disorders.