Sunday, April 20, 2014   

Family study shows way to understand epilepsy risk
(04-02 14:17)

A group of researchers has identified a gene associated with a common form of epilepsy which could lead to earlier diagnosis.
The research, published in the April issue of the journal Nature Genetics, involved scientists in Australia, Europe and Canada.
Melbourne University academic Ingrid Scheffer said a number of genes linked to epilepsy were known to scientists, but these related to rare families in which a large number of members had the condition, AFP reports.
“The reason that this discovery is very important is that it's not just for rare families, we think it will be a gene that will be important for people without a family history,'' Scheffer said. “So it's changing the game in terms of being important for a much broader number of people with focal epilepsy.''
Focal, or partial, seizures start in one part of the brain and affect the part of the body controlled by that part of the brain.
Scheffer said a clinical diagnosis could not be made for epilepsy without seizures of some kind but the finding could aid genetic counseling and diagnosis – particularly in cases where everything else in the brain is normal.
“When you have epilepsy people always say, ‘Why have I got this?' And this is the next level, which is the gene test,’’ she said.
“So they will be able to be tested for this gene, and that's important in terms of understanding the cause, in terms of treatment, and hopefully this will one day help outcomes. And it's also important in terms of genetic counseling for their own children.’’ People would be able to assess the risk for their own offspring if they were found to have the gene.
The research comes after new gene detection techniques allowed scientists to pinpoint the abnormality, finding it in 12 percent of the 80 families studied, in which one or more members had epilepsy.
“That's huge to find a gene that picks up 12 percent, 12 percent of the common cause of epilepsy,'' Scheffer said.
``I think that it means that if you look at anybody with focal epilepsy – without an abnormality on their MRIs, what we call a structural abnormality – my guess is that it will be 2-4 percent of them will have this cause.''
Most of the families studied were Australian, but the group included some from Spain, Israel, Italy and elsewhere.

   
Other World breaking news:
(Flight MH370) Huge cost expected in search operation (04-17 17:53)
Ferry evacuation sparks fury (04-17 17:39)
Putin urges dialog in Ukraine (04-17 17:25)
NKorea protests to UK over Kim Jong-Un hair poster (04-17 17:21)
Heartbreaking text messages from students on sinking ferry in SKorea (04-17 15:44)
Firetruck crashes in California restaurant (04-17 11:22)
Fears grow for hundreds missing in SKorea ferry capsize (04-17 11:19)
Pope gives a lift to 2 kids in St. Peter's Square (04-16 18:53)
Former Co-op Bank chair charged with drug offenses (04-16 18:52)
UK lawmakers slam lax security in Taliban attack (04-16 18:06)

More breaking news >>

© 2014 The Standard, The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Contact Us | About Us | Newsfeeds | Subscriptions | Print Ad. | Online Ad. | Street Pts

 


Home | Top News | Local | Business | China | ViewPoint | CityTalk | World | Sports | People | Central Station | Spree | Features

The Standard

Trademark and Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014, The Standard Newspaper Publishing Ltd., and its related entities. All rights reserved.  Use in whole or part of this site's content is prohibited.   Use of this Web site assumes acceptance of the
Terms of Use, Privacy Policy Statement and Copyright Policy.  Please also read our Ethics Statement.