Clin Genet. 2024 Jan 14. doi: 10.1111/cge.14481. Online ahead of print.
Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) are a heterogeneous group of epilepsies characterized by early-onset, refractory seizures associated with developmental regression or impairment, with a heterogeneous genetic landscape including genes implicated in various pathways and mechanisms. We retrospectively studied the clinical and genetic data of patients with genetic DEE who presented at two tertiary centers in Egypt over a 10-year period. Exome sequencing was used for genetic testing. We report 74 patients from 63 unrelated Egyptian families, with a high rate of consanguinity (58%). The most common seizure type was generalized tonic-clonic (58%) and multiple seizure types were common (55%). The most common epilepsy syndrome was early infantile DEE (50%). All patients showed variable degrees of developmental impairment. Microcephaly, hypotonia, ophthalmological involvement and neuroimaging abnormalities were common. Eighteen novel variants were identified and the phenotypes of five DEE genes were expanded with novel phenotype-genotype associations. Obtaining a genetic diagnosis had implications on epilepsy management in 17 patients with variants in 12 genes. In this study, we expand the phenotype and genotype spectrum of DEE in a large single ethnic cohort of patients. Reaching a genetic diagnosis guided precision management of epilepsy in a significant proportion of patients.