Causal heterogeneity in isolated lissencephaly

William B. Dobyns, E. R. Elias, A. C. Newlin, R. A. Pagon, D. H. Ledbetter

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120 Scopus citations


We report clinical, cytogenetic, and molecular studies in 65 patients with isolated lissencephaly sequence (ILS). All had type I lissencephaly of varying severity and a grossly normal cerebellum. Some had additional brain abnormalities. Facial appearance was essentially normal. All had severe to profound mental retardation, seizures, hypotonia that evolved into spasticity, and feeding difficulties. Clinical and laboratory studies demonstrated etiologic heterogeneity. Molecular studies detected microdeletions in chromosome band 17p13.3 in six of 44 patients tested, confirming that deletion of all or part of this “critical region” is the cause of ILS in some cases. There were slightly larger deletions in the same region in a majority of patients with Miller-Dieker syndrome. One patient had an apparently balanced, de novo reciprocal translocation with breakpoints at Xq22 and 2p25. Four sibs from two families had a new, autosoma1 recessive syndrome of ILS with neonatal death. Other causes supported by clinical observations include autosoma1 recessive inheritance, intrautenne infection, and intrauterine perfusion failure. Those ILS probands in whom no etiology could he established had 41 sibs of whom three were affected, giving an empiric recurrence risk of 7%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1375-1388
Number of pages14
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1992
Externally publishedYes


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