January 10, 2019

ILAE Consortium Identifies Novel Epilepsy Genes

A genome-wide analysis of nearly 45,000 people has identified 16 regions of DNA associated with epilepsy, 11 of which are newly identified.

The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Consortium on Complex Epilepsies did the analysis, which involved DNA from 15,212 people with epilepsy and 29,677 people without the condition. It is the largest study of its kind. The analysis was published in the Dec 10, 2018 issue of Nature Communications.

Most of these identified genes are associated with generalized epilepsy. The genes have diverse biological functions, including coding for ion-channel subunits, transcription factors and a vitamin B6 metabolism enzyme.

Compared with focal epilepsies, generalized epilepsies appear to have a stronger heritable component. However, fewer single genes have been implicated in generalized epilepsies.

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