Comorbidities in Developmental Disorders – Chapter 8: Channelopathies (ebook)


Chapter 8 of the book – Channelopathies

Ion channels are specialised transmembrane proteins that are essential for controlling electrical signalling and neurotransmitter release throughout the nervous system. When comorbid neurological or behavioural disorders affect an individual, the explanation may be found in a single ion channel mutation producing pathology in different tissues. The epilepsies are the most common serious neurological disorders and the last decade has taught us that they are largely a family of ion channelopathies. The comorbidities that exist alongside epilepsy such as learning and behaviour problems, migraine and movement disorders may also have their basis in the dysfunction of the channel producing the epilepsy. The genetic mutation provides a way in which the clinician and molecular biologist can research and understand these relationships. The study of channelopathies is proving new insights into the epileptic encephalopathies, an important and potentially treatable cause of learning and behaviour problems in childhood.

About the complete book

In the last decade the term ‚’comorbidity‚’ has gained popularity in the field of paediatric neurodisability, with the increasing recognition that many conditions are rarely present in isolation. Within this field, the term is often used to refer to the co-occurrence of conditions more frequently than would be expected by chance, which can include instances where one condition causes the other, where they share a common cause (for example, genetic), or where they are in fact manifestations of a single condition. Whether it is valid to use the term ‚’comorbidity‚’ in all these situations, and how precisely it should be used, is something that the contributors to this book grapple with in their own fields of interest. The contributors, all world experts in their fields, also discuss what we can learn from the presence of comorbidities, however defined, about the aetiology and treatment of neurodevelopmental disabilities. In particular, they demonstrate how our increasing understanding of the mechanisms underlying the common association of many ‘comorbidities‚’ is helping us to understand the natural history of these conditions and improve our management of them.

Paediatricians, paediatric neurologists, child psychiatrists, neurodevelopmentalists, and physical, occupational and speech therapists working with children with developmental disabilities.

Clinics in Developmental Medicine No. 187