NEW YORK (January 28, 2009) - An international team of researchers, led by investigators at Columbia University Medical Center, has uncovered the first gene linked to the most common type of epilepsy, called Rolandic epilepsy. One out of every five children with epilepsy is diagnosed with this form, which is associated with seizures starting in one part of the brain.
Results of the study were published in an advance online issue of the European Journal of Human Genetics on January 28, 2009.
The finding is the first step in unlocking the causes of common childhood epilepsies and developing more effective treatments. Children with Rolandic and other types of epilepsies are usually treated with drugs that prevent seizures by suppressing electrical activity in the entire brain.