A genetic study of the human low-voltage electroencephalogram

Andrej Anokhin, Ortrud Steinlein, Christine Fischer, Yiping Mao, Peter Vogt, Edda Schalt, Friedrich Vogel

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The studied phenotype, the low-voltage electroencephalogram (LVEEG), is characterized by the absence of an alpha rhythm from the resting EEG. In previous studies, evidence was found for a simple autosomal-dominant mode of inheritance of the LVEEG. Such a polymorphism in brain function can be used as a research model for the stepwise elucidation of the molecular mechanism involved in those aspects of neuronal activity that are reflected in the EEG. Linkage with the variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) marker CMM6 (D20S19) and localization of an LVEEG (EEGV1) gene on 20q have previously been reported, and genetic heterogeneity has been demonstrated. This latter result has been corroborated by studing new marker (MS214). The phenotype of the LVEEG is described here in greater detail. Its main characteristic is the absence of rhythmic alpha activity, especially in occipital leads, whereas other wave forms such as beta or theta waves may be present. Analysis of 17 new families (some of them large), together with 60 previously described nuclear families, supports the genetic hypothesis of an autosomal-dominant mode of inheritance. Problems connected with the analysis of linkage heterogeneity, exclusion mapping, and the study of multipoint linkage are discussed. A possible explanation of the localization of LVEEG in the close vicinity of another gene influencing synchronization of the normal EEG, the gene for benign neonatal epilepsie, is given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-112
Number of pages14
JournalHuman genetics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 1992


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