Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Hyperekplexia is a hereditary neurological disorder characterized by excessive startle responses. Within the disorder two clinical forms can be distinguished. The major form is characterized by continuous generalized stiffness in the first year of life and an exaggerated startle reflex, accompanied by temporary generalized stiffness and falls, whereas in the minor form only excessive startle and hypnic jerks have been described. Mutations in the gene encoding the alpha-1 subunit of the glycine receptor (GLRA1) are responsible for the major form of hyperekplexia but no mutation was detected in patients with the minor form in the large Dutch pedigree originally described by Suhren and colleagues. Here we describe the genetic analysis of the GLRA1 gene of two English families in which both forms of hyperekplexia were present. Mutation analysis revealed no genetic defect in the GLRA1 gene in patients carrying either the minor or major forms. This is further evidence that the minor form of hyperekplexia is seldom due to a genetic defect in the GLRA1 gene.

Original publication




Journal article


Mov Disord

Publication Date





826 - 830


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, DNA Mutational Analysis, Female, Genetic Carrier Screening, Genetic Markers, Genetic Testing, Humans, Male, Neurologic Examination, Pedigree, Receptors, Glycine, Reflex, Abnormal, Reflex, Startle