Assessment of burden and segregation profiles of CNVs in patients with epilepsy

Claudia Moreau, Frédérique Tremblay, Stefan Wolking, Alexandre Girard, Catherine Laprise, Fadi F. Hamdan, Jacques L. Michaud, Berge A. Minassian, Patrick Cossette, Simon L. Girard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Microdeletions are associated with different forms of epilepsy but show incomplete penetrance, which is not well understood. We aimed to assess whether unmasked variants or double CNVs could explain incomplete penetrance. Methods: We analyzed copy number variants (CNVs) in 603 patients with four different subgroups of epilepsy and 945 controls. CNVs were called from genotypes and validated on whole-genome (WGS) or whole-exome sequences (WES). CNV burden difference between patients and controls was obtained by fitting a logistic regression. CNV burden was assessed for small and large (>1 Mb) deletions and duplications and for deletions overlapping different gene sets. Results: Large deletions were enriched in genetic generalized epilepsies (GGE) compared to controls. We also found enrichment of deletions in epilepsy genes and hotspots for GGE. We did not find truncating or functional variants that could have been unmasked by the deletions. We observed a double CNV hit in two patients. One patient also carried a de novo deletion in the 22q11.2 hotspot. Interpretation: We could corroborate previous findings of an enrichment of large microdeletions and deletions in epilepsy genes in GGE. We could also replicate that microdeletions show incomplete penetrance. However, we could not validate the hypothesis of unmasked variants nor the hypothesis of double CNVs to explain the incomplete penetrance. We found a de novo CNV on 22q11.2 that could be of interest. We also observed GGE families carrying a deletion on 15q13.3 hotspot that could be investigated in the Quebec founder population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Clinical and Translational Neurology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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