Animal Models of Episodic Ataxia Type 1 (EA1)

Maria Cristina D'Adamo, Giuseppe Di Giovanni, Mauro Pessia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


Episodic ataxia type 1 (EA1) is an autosomal dominant neurological disorder characterized by myokymia and attacks of ataxic gait often precipitated by stress. Several genetic mutations have been identified in the Shaker-like K+ channel Kv1.1 (KCNA1) of individuals with EA1. K+ channels are membrane proteins that allow the selected and concerted movement of K+ across a cell membrane that is otherwise relatively impermeable. Voltage-gated K+ channels shorten the duration of action potentials and control the excitability of central and peripheral neurons. EA1 is classified among ion channel diseases known as channelopathies (CPs). To date, a large group of CPs has been identified and new ones are continuously discovered. They result in a very diverse class of diseases ranging from ataxia, epilepsy, migraine, and psychiatric disorders to dysfunction of the skeletal muscle, kidney, and endocrinology system. Certainly, research using animal models of EA1 is providing important knowledge concerning the signaling pathways and circuits involved in this disease and in finding novel pharmacological interventions to ameliorate the symptoms. More broadly, investigations of CPs at the molecular and whole-animal levels will help further our understanding of the functional properties of ion channels and, eventually, the physiological workings of the human body.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMovement Disorders
Subtitle of host publicationGenetics and Models: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780124051959
Publication statusPublished - Oct 29 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Electromyography: EMG
  • Episodic ataxia type 1: EA1
  • Lateral gastrocnemius: LG
  • Voltage-gated potassium channel: Kv

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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