Child epilepsy mysteries solved

Using advanced gene technology, researchers have discovered new genes and new genetic mutations that cause severe childhood epilepsy.

The study's co-leader Professor Sam Berkovic, director of the Epilepsy Research Centre at the University of Melbourne and Melbourne's Austin Hospital, said as well as providing a pathway to treating epilepsy, the research provides answers to patients and families who previously had little or no idea where epilepsy had come from.

"Parents often have a belief that they've done something wrong that caused this disease," Professor Berkovic said.

"Not knowing why has been one of the most frustrating things... We've never really had the answer. Now we do. This also stops the need for further searching and refines the treatments."

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