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Gene identified for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy
A mutation in a brain protein gene may trigger irregular heart beat and sudden death in people with epilepsy, according to new research.
Date: 14 April 2010
Source: Science Daily
NSE comment from Professor John Duncan, NSE Medical Director: "This is an important finding, and may identify a subset of patients with epilepsy who are at high risk of a death from their heart stopping beating. Work at the NSE showed that some patients with refractory epilepsy had occasions after seizures when their heart temporarily stopped, and these patients were treated with insertion of a cardiac pacemaker.
"This new finding reinforces the suggestion that it would be important to look for occasional abnormalities of cardiac rhythm in those with refractory epilepsy, using implanted long term ECG recorders."