The CSTB gene encodes for cystatin B, an inhibitor of lysosomal cysteine protease (cathepsins B, H, L, and S). 1 CSTB mutations have been associated with type 1 progressive myoclonic epilepsy, also known as Unverricht-Lundborg (ULD) disease, or Baltic myoclonus. 2,3 A total of 90% of all disease alleles consists of an expansion of at least 30 times of an unstable 12-nucleotide stretch (dodecamer 5′-CCCCGCCCCGCG-3′) in the CSTB promoter region. Homozygosity for this expansion is considered the founder mutation in the Finnish population. Few other mutations have been described, among these the p.Arg68, but until now only as compound heterozygous with the dodecamer expansion. 4-6 Expression of the p.Arg68 mutation in vitro indicates that the truncated protein is rapidly degraded, confirming that it is a null mutation. 7 Between the ages of 6 and 16 years, ULD begins with stimulus-sensitive myoclonus and generalized tonic-clonic seizures, which can be worsened by phenytoin, followed by ataxia and slow neurodegeneration. Here we report on the first 2 patients with a homozygous p.Arg68 null mutation.

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Mancini, G.M.S, Schot, R, de Wit, M.C.Y, de Coo, I.F.M, Oostenbrink, R, Bindels-de Heus, G.C.B, … van Slegtenhorst, M.A. (2016). CSTB null mutation associated with microcephaly, early developmental delay, and severe dyskinesia. Neurology, 86(9), 877–878. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000002422