Scientific article

Tobacco habits modulate autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy

Published inEpilepsy & behavior, vol. 9, no. 3, p. 515-520
Publication date2006-11
First online date2006-08-22

Mutations in neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors have been demonstrated in autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (ADNFLE). The beneficial effect of nicotine administration was previously reported in one single case. We investigated the influence of the tobacco habits of 22 subjects from two pedigrees with alpha4 mutations (776ins3 and S248F). Subjects were interviewed with respect to pattern of nicotine intake and seizures. Seizure freedom was significantly associated with tobacco use (P=0.024). All seven nonsmokers with manifest ADNFLE had persistent seizures. Seizure fluctuations, including long remissions, corresponded to changes in tobacco habits in several patients. One patient who recently had begun treatment with transdermal nicotine experienced improvement. We conclude that tobacco appears to be an environmental factor that influences seizure susceptibility in ADNFLE. Inactivation by desensitization of the mutant receptors by nicotine may explain the beneficial effect. The efficacy and safety of transdermal nicotine in ADNFLE should be further explored.

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Epilepsy, Frontal Lobe / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy, Frontal Lobe / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Nicotine / pharmacology
  • Nicotine / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Nicotinic / drug effects
  • Seizures / prevention & control
  • Sleep
  • Smoking
  • Epilepsy
  • Nicotine
  • Genetics
  • Nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - Nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy and sleep spindles
Citation (ISO format)
BRODTKORB, Eylert, PICARD, Fabienne. Tobacco habits modulate autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy. In: Epilepsy & behavior, 2006, vol. 9, n° 3, p. 515–520. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2006.07.008
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1525-5050

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