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Published: 15 August 2013

Researchers identify new genes linked to epilepsy

Researchers report they have found up to 25 new genetic mutations that may be behind some of the most severe forms of childhood epilepsy. It is hoped that new treatments may be developed to target the mutations which were discovered on nine key genes associated with the condition.

The findings, published in the online journal Nature 11 August 2013, are the first to emerge from a set of epilepsy-genetics projects known as EPGP and Epi4K, involving more than 150 scientists working in 40 institutions across three continents.

'The limitations of what we currently can do for epilepsy patients are completely overwhelming,” said Daniel Lowenstein, one of the epilepsy experts involved in the research. “More than a third of our patients are not treatable with any medication, so the idea of finding specific drug targets, instead of a drug that just bathes the brain and may cause problems with normal brain function, is very appealing.'

Read more about the US-led study and its findings