Sep 1, 2023

New insights on why epilepsy develops, potential treatments in world’s largest genetic study

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

Specific changes in our DNA that increase the risk of developing epilepsy have been discovered, in the largest genetic study of its kind for epilepsy coordinated by the International League Against Epilepsy, which includes scientists from the University of Melbourne and WEHI (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research).

Published today in Nature Genetics, this research advances our understanding of why epilepsy develops and could inform the development of new epilepsy treatments. The research was produced by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Consortium on Complex Epilepsies.

Epilepsy is a common brain disorder estimated to effect more than 50 million people worldwide, where nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures. It has a genetic component that sometimes runs in families. In this study, researchers compared the DNA from almost 30,000 people with epilepsy to the DNA of 52,500 people without epilepsy from around the world. The differences between the two groups highlighted areas of DNA that may be involved in the development of epilepsy.

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