A variety of pathologies can underlie early-onset severe encephalopathy with epilepsy. To aid the diagnostic process in such patients we present an overview of causes, including the rapidly expanding list of genes involved. When no explanation is found, whole-exome sequencing (WES) can be used in an attempt to identify gene defects in patients suspected to suffer from a genetic form. We describe three siblings, born to consanguineous parents, with a lethal severe epileptic encephalopathy with early-infantile onset, including their magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography and, in one case, neuropathological findings. Using WES a homozygous frameshift mutation in the BRAT1 gene, c.638dup p.(Val214Glyfs*189), was identified. We present our cases in the context of all published cases with mutations in the BRAT1 gene and conclude that BRAT1 should be added to the growing list of genes related to early-onset severe encephalopathy with epilepsy.