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Articles by H. C Mefford
Total Records ( 2 ) for H. C Mefford
  C. G. F de Kovel , H Trucks , I Helbig , H. C Mefford , C Baker , C Leu , C Kluck , H Muhle , S von Spiczak , P Ostertag , T Obermeier , A. A Kleefuss Lie , K Hallmann , M Steffens , V Gaus , K. M Klein , H. M Hamer , F Rosenow , E. H Brilstra , D Kasteleijn Nolst Trenite , M. E. M Swinkels , Y. G Weber , I Unterberger , F Zimprich , L Urak , M Feucht , K Fuchs , R. S Moller , H Hjalgrim , P De Jonghe , A Suls , I. M Ruckert , H. E Wichmann , A Franke , S Schreiber , P Nurnberg , C. E Elger , H Lerche , U Stephani , B. P. C Koeleman , D Lindhout , E. E Eichler and T. Sander

Idiopathic generalized epilepsies account for 30% of all epilepsies. Despite a predominant genetic aetiology, the genetic factors predisposing to idiopathic generalized epilepsies remain elusive. Studies of structural genomic variations have revealed a significant excess of recurrent microdeletions at 1q21.1, 15q11.2, 15q13.3, 16p11.2, 16p13.11 and 22q11.2 in various neuropsychiatric disorders including autism, intellectual disability and schizophrenia. Microdeletions at 15q13.3 have recently been shown to constitute a strong genetic risk factor for common idiopathic generalized epilepsy syndromes, implicating that other recurrent microdeletions may also be involved in epileptogenesis. This study aimed to investigate the impact of five microdeletions at the genomic hotspot regions 1q21.1, 15q11.2, 16p11.2, 16p13.11 and 22q11.2 on the genetic risk to common idiopathic generalized epilepsy syndromes. The candidate microdeletions were assessed by high-density single nucleotide polymorphism arrays in 1234 patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy from North-western Europe and 3022 controls from the German population. Microdeletions were validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and their breakpoints refined by array comparative genomic hybridization. In total, 22 patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy (1.8%) carried one of the five novel microdeletions compared with nine controls (0.3%) (odds ratio = 6.1; 95% confidence interval 2.8–13.2; 2 = 26.7; 1 degree of freedom; P = 2.4 x 10–7). Microdeletions were observed at 1q21.1 [Idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE)/control: 1/1], 15q11.2 (IGE/control: 12/6), 16p11.2 IGE/control: 1/0, 16p13.11 (IGE/control: 6/2) and 22q11.2 (IGE/control: 2/0). Significant associations with IGEs were found for the microdeletions at 15q11.2 (odds ratio = 4.9; 95% confidence interval 1.8–13.2; P = 4.2 x 10–4) and 16p13.11 (odds ratio = 7.4; 95% confidence interval 1.3–74.7; P = 0.009). Including nine patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy in this cohort with known 15q13.3 microdeletions (IGE/control: 9/0), parental transmission could be examined in 14 families. While 10 microdeletions were inherited (seven maternal and three paternal transmissions), four microdeletions occurred de novo at 15q13.3 (n = 1), 16p13.11 (n = 2) and 22q11.2 (n = 1). Eight of the transmitting parents were clinically unaffected, suggesting that the microdeletion itself is not sufficient to cause the epilepsy phenotype. Although the microdeletions investigated are individually rare (<1%) in patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy, they collectively seem to account for a significant fraction of the genetic variance in common idiopathic generalized epilepsy syndromes. The present results indicate an involvement of microdeletions at 15q11.2 and 16p13.11 in epileptogenesis and strengthen the evidence that recurrent microdeletions at 15q11.2, 15q13.3 and 16p13.11 confer a pleiotropic susceptibility effect to a broad range of neuropsychiatric disorders.

  H. C Mefford , G. M Cooper , T Zerr , J. D Smith , C Baker , N Shafer , E. C Thorland , C Skinner , C. E Schwartz , D. A Nickerson and E. E. Eichler

Copy-number variants (CNVs) are substantial contributors to human disease. A central challenge in CNV-disease association studies is to characterize the pathogenicity of rare and possibly incompletely penetrant events, which requires the accurate detection of rare CNVs in large numbers of individuals. Cost and throughput issues limit our ability to perform these studies. We have adapted the Illumina BeadXpress SNP genotyping assay and developed an algorithm, SNP-Conditional OUTlier detection (SCOUT), to rapidly and accurately detect both rare and common CNVs in large cohorts. This approach is customizable, cost effective, highly parallelized, and largely automated. We applied this method to screen 69 loci in 1105 children with unexplained intellectual disability, identifying pathogenic variants in 3.1% of these individuals and potentially pathogenic variants in an additional 2.3%. We identified seven individuals (0.7%) with a deletion of 16p11.2, which has been previously associated with autism. Our results widen the phenotypic spectrum of these deletions to include intellectual disability without autism. We also detected 1.65–3.4 Mbp duplications at 16p13.11 in 1.1% of affected individuals and 350 kbp deletions at 15q11.2, near the Prader-Willi/Angelman syndrome critical region, in 0.8% of affected individuals. Compared to published CNVs in controls they are significantly (P = 4.7 x 10–5 and 0.003, respectively) enriched in these children, supporting previously published hypotheses that they are neurocognitive disease risk factors. More generally, this approach offers a previously unavailable balance between customization, cost, and throughput for analysis of CNVs and should prove valuable for targeted CNV detection in both research and diagnostic settings.

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