An international study has discovered 11 new genes associated with epilepsy, which greatly advances knowledge of the underlying biological causes of epilepsy and may inform the development of new treatments for the condition.
Researchers compared the DNA of more than 15,000 people with epilepsy to the DNA of 30,000 people without epilepsy. This has created a better understanding of genetic factors that contribute to the most common forms of this condition, and the results tripled the number of known genetic associations for epilepsy and implicated 11 new genes.
The majority of current anti-epileptic drugs directly target one or more of the associated genes and identified an additional 166 drugs that do the same. These drugs are promising new candidates for epilepsy therapy as they directly target the genetic basis of the disease.
“This work illustrates the power of scientists collaborating across countries and continents. Discovering these new