September 14, 2021

Insights Into Genes Driving Epilepsy Could Help With Treatment

Danish researchers have found genetic causes for epilepsy in half of children they studied and said half of those could be treated with targeted therapies.

That’s the upshot of genetic testing of 290 children born between 2006 and 2011. Some had been diagnosed with epilepsy. Others had had seizures along with a high temperature; they were either long seizures or consciousness was not regained between them.

“We found a genetic cause in half of those tested and also that half of those again could receive a tailored treatment,” said Dr. Allan Bayat, a consultant in pediatric neurology at the Danish Epilepsy Center in Dianalund, Denmark. “We hope that drug companies and the scientific community will be able to produce new drugs or repurpose existing ones that may be being used to treat entirely unrelated conditions to improve precision treatment possibilities for those for whom this is currently not available.”

Bayat presented his findings this week at an online meeting of the European Society of Human Genetics. Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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