Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEE) constitute an expanding group of severely disabling and, most frequently, drug-resistant disorders starting in the first year of life. Among them, there is DEE43, caused by dominant mutations in the GABRB3 gene. We present first neuropathological findings in a novel, molecularly confirmed case with the fatal course. The neuropathological analysis revealed co-existing developmental anomalies and retardation of myelination resulting from disturbed early brain growth as well as lesions caused by epileptic hypoxic-ischemic episodes. Developmental anomalies included misplaced neurons in the cerebellar white matter, heterotopic neurons in the cortical molecular layer and in the molecular layer of the hippocampal dentate gyrus, dysmorphic cerebellar dentate nuclei and inferior olivary nuclei in the medulla oblongata. The migrational and maturational disorders leading to the neuronal network dysfunction could be the cause of both the lack of development and the ineffectiveness of antiepileptic treatment in children affected by DEE. Giving the presented neuropathological description and based on the literature, we discuss the pathomechanism of the disease, to improve current understanding of both the lack of development and the ineffectiveness of treatment of affected ch.
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