Epilepsy could be a family affair

The most common form of epilepsy has been found to be caused by a hereditary gene.

Not previously thought of as being inherited, focal epilepsy was previously believed to be caused by structural abnormalities such as a brain injury or a tumour. Researchers have proved that the gene that causes epilepsy has a hereditary nature. This gene is also responsible for making a protein that is found within nerve cells and appears to be important for signalling within cells.

Identifying this gene will help in the diagnosis and treatment of many people with the illness, as well as helping families to know more about why and how this kind of epilepsy occurs. The researchers have said that the discovery promises to change clinical practice, avoid unnecessary investigations, and provide appropriate genetic counselling for sufferers and their families.

Read more at University of South Australia