Focal Cortical Dysplasia (FCD) is the most common focal cortical malformation leading to childhood focal epilepsy that undergo epilepsy surgery. In recent years, we and others have shown that FCD type II is caused by mosaic mutations in genes within the PI3K-AKT-mTOR-signaling pathway. Hyperactivation of the mTOR pathway accounts for neuropathological abnormalities and seizure occurrence in FCD. We further showed from human surgical FCDII tissue that epileptiform activity correlates with the density of mutated dysmorphic neurons, supporting their pro-epileptogenic role. The level of mosaicism, as defined by variant allele frequency (VAF) is thought to correlate with the size and regional brain distribution of the lesion such that when a somatic mutation occurs early during the cortical development, the dysplastic area is smaller than if it occurs later. Novel approaches based on the detection of cell-free DNA from the CSF and from trace tissue adherent to SEEG electrodes promise future opportunities for genetic testing during the presurgical evaluation of refractory epilepsy patients or in those that are not eligible for surgery. In utero-based electroporation mouse models allow to express somatic mutation during neurodevelopment and recapitulate most neuropathological and clinical features of FCDII, establishing relevant preclinical mouse models for developing precision medicine strategies.
Salle des Thèses – Saint-Germain-des-Prés Campus – 45 rue des Saints-Pères, 75006 Paris – February 9th, 2024 at 11:30 AM