Dravet syndrome (DS), an intractable childhood epileptic encephalopathy with a high fatality rate, is typically caused by loss-of-function mutations in one allele of SCN1A, which encodes NaV1.1, a 250-kDa voltage-gated sodium channel. In contrast to other epilepsies, pharmaceutical treatment for DS is limited. Here, we demonstrate that viral vector-mediated delivery of a codon-modified SCN1A open reading frame into the brain improves DS comorbidities in juvenile and adolescent DS mice (Scn1aA1783V/WT). Notably, bilateral vector injections into the hippocampus and/or the thalamus of DS mice increased survival, reduced the occurrence of epileptic spikes, provided protection from thermally-induced seizures, corrected background electrocorticography activity and behavioral deficits, and restored hippocampal inhibition. Together, our results provide a proof-of-concept for the potential of SCN1A delivery as a therapeutic approach for infants and adolescents with DS-associated comorbidities.
Saja Fadila, Bertrand Beucher, Iria González Dopeso-Reyes, Anat Mavashov, Marina Brusel, Karen Anderson, Caroline Ismeurt, Ethan M. Goldberg, Ana Ricobaraza, Ruben Hernandez-Alcoceba, Eric J. Kremer, Moran Rubinstein