The Epilepsy Society is proud to be part of ground-breaking research which has revealed 26 potential new sites for epilepsy in our DNA, including 19 which are thought to be linked to Genetic Generalized Epilepsy. Additionally, the research has identified 29 genes which are thought to contribute to the development of epilepsy in these areas of the brain.
The research is the largest study of its kind and was carried out by the International League Against Epilepsy Consortium, including Epilepsy Society’s Professors Ley Sander and Sanjay Sisodiya, Simona Balestrini and Krishna Chintapalli.
The study looked at the DNA of almost 30,000 people with epilepsy and 50,000 who do not have the condition. It is hoped that the discovery will lead to new and better treatments to control seizures. Researchers will also be looking at existing medications which are already used for other conditions but which may also be used for targeting epilepsy genes.
Professor Ley Sander, Medical Director at the Epilepsy Society, said: “This is very exciting progress. It is an unprecedented collaboration involving researchers across Europe, Australia, Asia and North and South America and demonstrates just what can be achieved by sharing big datasets from across the world. The research will undoubtedly help us to break down the complexities of epilepsy and lead to better treatments in the future for people with epilepsy.
“These moments in research are always very exciting, but the milestone moment for me is when that research is translated into new treatments and, for the first time, someone who has been living with uncontrolled seizures, can finally get on with their life, seizure free. That is the moment we celebrate.”
Source: epilepsysociety.org.uk, Nicola Swanborough