MELAS with recurrent complex partial seizures, nonconvulsive status epilepticus, psychosis, and behavioral disturbances: case analysis with literature review.

Epilepsy Behav. 2010 Aug;18(4):494-7. Epub  2010 Jun 26.


Department of Psychiatry, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA.


Mitochondrial encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and strokelike episodes (MELAS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with polygenetic, maternally inherited, mitochondrial DNA mutations. MELAS has multisystem presentation including neurological, muscular, endocrine, auditory, visual, cardiac, psychiatric, renal, gastrointestinal and dermatological symptoms. Clinical course and prognosis are variable, often leading to cognitive decline, disability, and premature death. Both convulsive status epilepticus (CSE) and nonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) are reported with MELAS. This report illustrates a case of MELAS with recurrent complex partial seizures, NCSE, confusion, aggressive behaviors, hallucinations, and paranoid delusions. Rapid video/EEG confirmation of diagnosis and aggressive antiepileptic drug intervention are required. Further education of medical professionals regarding this disorder, its appropriate management, and the significance of NCSE is indicated to avoid delay of treatment.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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