Inherited epilepsy breakthrough

Could gene therapy help prevent and treat inherited epilepsy?

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Gene therapy has been used to prevent inherited epilepsy being passed on to offspring by researchers at Leeds University, reports the BBC.

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A gene that’s thought to cause epilepsy if it’s faulty has been identified. A species of mice where some naturally inherit epilepsy had a working version of this gene, called Atp1a3, tacked onto their DNA by researchers. Babies of the mice were then found not to be epileptic.

While more research is needed, the human ATP1a3 gene and mouse version are more than 99% the same, so the findings could help treat or prevent inherited epilepsy.

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Epilepsy affects nearly one in 200 of us, and is a common neurological condition, though in most cases the causes of it aren’t known.

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