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A case-control proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy study confirms cerebellar dysfunction in benign adult familial myoclonic epilepsy

Authors Long L, Song Y, Zhang L, Hu C, Gong J, Xu L, Long H, Zhou L, Zhang Y, Zhang Y, Xiao B

Received 21 November 2014

Accepted for publication 16 January 2015

Published 25 February 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 485—491


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Lili Long,1 Yanmin Song,1 Linlin Zhang,2 Chongyu Hu,3 Jian Gong,2 Lin Xu,1 Hongyu Long,1 Luo Zhou,1 Yunci Zhang,2 Yong Zhang,2 Bo Xiao1

1Department of Neurology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan Province, People’s Republic of China; 2The People’s Hospital of Fuyang, Anhui Province, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Neurology, Hunan Provincial People’s Hospital, People’s Republic of China

Background: Benign adult familial myoclonic epilepsy (BAFME) is a rare form of epilepsy syndrome. The pathogenesis of BAFME remains unclear, though it seems to involve dysfunction of the cerebellum.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to use proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) to investigate whether neurochemical changes underlie abnormal brain function in BAFME.
Methods: Twelve BAFME patients from one family and 12 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled in this study. The ratios of NAA/Cr, NAA/Cho, Cho/Cr, and NAA/(Cr+Cho) were analyzed.
Results: The BAFME patients exhibited a decreased N-acetylaspartate (NAA)/choline (Cho) ratio in the cerebellar cortex, whereas there were no significant differences in the NAA/creatine (Cr), Cho/Cr, and NAA/(Cr+Cho) ratios compared with healthy controls. There were no significant differences in 1H-MRS values in the frontal cortex or thalamus between the BAFME patients and controls. No correlation was detected between the NAA/Cho ratio in the cerebellar cortex and disease duration, myoclonus severity, or tremor severity.
Conclusion: Our results indicate clear cerebellar dysfunction in BAFME. 1H-MRS is a useful tool for the diagnosis of BAFME in combination with family history and electrophysiological examination.

Keywords: benign adult familial myoclonic epilepsy (BAFME), proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS), cerebellum, cortical tremor, myoclonus

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