CDKL5 deficiency disorder is characterized by seizures that begin in infancy, followed by significant delays in many aspects of development.
Seizures in CDKL5 deficiency disorder usually begin within the first 3 months of life, and can appear as early as the first week after birth. The types of seizures change with age, and may follow a predictable pattern. The most common types are generalized tonic-clonic seizures, which involve a loss of consciousness, muscle rigidity, and convulsions; tonic seizures, which are characterized by abnormal muscle contractions; and epileptic spasms, which involve short episodes of muscle jerks. Seizures occur daily in most people with CDKL5 deficiency disorder, although they can have periods when they are seizure-free. Seizures in CDKL5 deficiency disorder are typically resistant to treatment. Development is impaired in children with CDKL5 deficiency disorder. Most have severe intellectual disability and little or no speech. The development of gross motor skills, such as sitting, standing, and walking, is delayed or not achieved. About one-third of affected individuals are able to walk independently. Fine motor skills, such as picking up small objects with the fingers, are also impaired; about half of affected individuals have purposeful use of their hands. Most people with this condition have vision problems.
CDKL5 deficiency disorder is caused by mutations in the CDKL5 gene.