Hyperekplexia (MIM #149400) is a rare neurological disorder characterized by an exaggerated startle response, infantile hypertonia and hyperreflexia without spasticity, a hesitant gait that usually improves by 3 years of age, and nocturnal myoclonus. Familial hyperekplexia is usually autosomal dominant resulting from mutations in the inhibitory glycine receptor subunit alpha 1 (GLRA1) gene on chromosome 5q. We identified a 3-generation family with progressively severe phenotypes of hyperekplexia. All affected family members were found to be heterozygous for a novel arginine271proline mutation in GLRA1. Long-term follow-up of the affected members of the third generation, now aged 6 and 7 years, reveals enhanced startle responses and persistent hypertonia of the extremities without clonus or a catch, tight heel cords and abnormal toe-walking gait, and plantar flexor reflexes. The 7-year-old child recently reponded well to a benzodiazepine. Future studies are warranted to examine whether this new missense mutation is solely responsible for this atypical phenotype.
- Gene mutation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology