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Disease Profile

Lissencephaly

Prevalence
Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

Unknown

Age of onset

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ICD-10

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Inheritance

Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease

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Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype

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X-linked
dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.

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X-linked
recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder

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Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.

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Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.

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Not applicable

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Summary

The following summary is from Orphanet, a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.
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Orpha Number: 48471

Definition
The term lissencephaly covers a group of rare malformations sharing the common feature of anomalies in the appearance of brain convolutions (characterised by simplification or absence of folding) associated with abnormal organisation of the cortical layers as a result of neuronal migration defects during embryogenesis.

Epidemiology
The incidence of all forms of type I lissencephaly is around 1 in 100,000 births.

Clinical description
Children with lissencephaly have feeding and swallowing problems, muscle tone anomalies (early hypotonia and subsequently limb hypertonia), seizures (in particular, infantile spasms) and severe psychomotor retardation. Multiple forms of lissencephaly have been described and their current classification is based on the associated malformations and underlying aetiology. Two large groups can be distinguished: classical lissencephaly (and its variants) and cobblestone lissencephaly. In classical lissencephaly (or type I), the cortex appears thickened, with four more or less disorganised layers rather than six normal layers. In the variants of classical lissencephaly, extra-cortical anomalies are also present (total or subtotal agenesis of the corpus callosum and/or cerebellar hypoplasia). The classical lissencephalies and the variant forms can be further divided into several subgroups. Four forms can be distinguished on the basis of their genetic aetiology: anomalies in the LIS1 gene (isolated lissencephaly and Miller-Dieker syndrome, see these terms), anomalies in the TUBA3 and DCX genes, and lissencephalies caused by mutations in the ARX gene (X-linked lissencephaly with agenesis of the corpus callosum (XLAG) syndrome; see this term). In addition to these four entities, isolated lissencephalies without a known genetic defect, lissencephalies with severe microcephaly (microlissencephaly) and lissencephalies associated with polymalformative syndromes are also included in the group of classical lissencephalies. Cobblestone lissencephaly (formally referred to as type II) is present in three entities: the Walker-Warburg, Fukuyama and MEB (Muscle-Eye-Brain) syndromes (see these terms). It is characterised by global disorganisation of cerebral organogenesis with an uneven cortical surface (with a pebbled or cobblestone appearance). Microscopic examination reveals total disorganisation of the cortex and the absence of any distinguishable layers.

Management and treatment
Management is symptomatic only (swallowing problems require adapted feeding to prevent food aspiration, articular and respiratory physiotherapy to prevent orthopaedic problems resulting from hyptonia, and treatment of gastrooesophageal reflux). The epilepsy is often resistant to treatment.

Prognosis
The encephalopathy associated with lissencephaly is often very severe and affected children are completely dependent on their carer.

Visit the Orphanet disease page for more resources.

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

In-Depth Information

  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) lists the subtypes and associated genes for Lissencephaly in a table called Phenotypic Series. Each entry in OMIM includes a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.