Study finds new ways to treat genetic causes of epilepsy

A LANDMARK study led by Australian researchers has uncovered genetic mutations that cause epilepsy, helping to find new ways to treat the condition.

The international study was led by University of Melbourne researchers, who worked with American scientists in analysing genes and epilepsy.

Published in journal Nature on Monday, it was part of a wider project analysing 4000 genomes from epilepsy patients worldwide.

It has found two new genes and 25 epilepsy-causing mutations, showing there could be common links to help target the condition and develop new treatments.

Professor Sam Berkovic said the findings would help to fast-track new discoveries of genetic causes of childhood epilepsy.

The researchers also estimated up to 90 genes could carry the epilepsy-causing mutations, and had found potential links with other diseases including autism.

Topics:  epilepsy

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