Tuberous sclerosis complex: everything old is new again.


Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is a multiorgan genetic disease caused by loss of function of either the TSC1 (encodes hamartin) or TSC2 (encodes tuberin) genes. Patients with TSC have benign tumors (hamartomas) in multiple organs though brain involvement is typically the most disabling aspect of the disease as very high rates of neurodevelopmental disorders are seen. While first described well over 120 years ago, recent advances have transformed TSC into a prototypical disorder that exemplifies the methods and potential of molecular medicine. This review will detail historical aspects of TSC and its strong associations with neurodevelopmental disorders focusing on epilepsy and autism. Finally, promising new approaches for the treatment of epilepsy and autism in patients with TSC as well as those in the general population will be discussed.