Familial partial trisomy 15q11-13 presenting as intractable epilepsy in the child and schizophrenia in the mother.

Research paper by Marina M Michelson, Avi A Eden, Chana C Vinkler, Esther E Leshinsky-Silver, Uri U Kremer, Tally T Lerman-Sagie, Dorit D Lev

Indexed on: 15 Dec '10Published on: 15 Dec '10Published in: European Journal of Paediatric Neurology


Various rearrangements involve the proximal long arm of chromosome 15, including deletions, duplications, translocations, inversions and supernumerary marker chromosome of an inverted duplication. The large marker 15, that contains the Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS)/Angelman syndrome (AS) chromosome region, is usually associated with an abnormal phenotype of moderate to severe mental retardation, seizures, poor motor coordination, early-onset central hypotonia, autism and autistic-like behavior, schizophrenia and mild dysmorphic features. We report a ten year-old girl with normal intelligence prior to the onset of seizures, who developed severe intractable epilepsy at the age of seven years. Family history was significant for a mother with recurrent episodes of acute psychosis. The patient's and mother's karyotype revealed 47,XX+m. Array comparative genomic hybridization (A-CGH) identified a gain of 13 BAC clones from 15q11.2 through 15q13.1, which was then confirmed by FISH to be part of the marker chromosome. This duplicated region contains the SNRPN/UBE3A locus. This case demonstrates that a duplication of 15q11-13 can present differently in the same family either as intractable epilepsy or as a psychiatric illness and that intelligence can be preserved. We suggest that CGH microarray should be performed in cases with intractable epilepsy or schizophrenia, with or without mental retardation.