British scientists have identified a gene network in the brain that is associated with epilepsy, a discovery which may lead to additional treatment for the condition.
Epilepsy — that affects over 50 million people worldwide — is a disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures, which are thought to be caused by brain cells sending faulty signals to each other.
The study revealed an ‘epileptic network’ of 320 genes, called M30, which are thought to be involved in how brain cells communicate with each other.
The results suggest that when this network malfunctions, it triggers epilepsy and finding medications that restore this network to normal could provide desperately needed new treatments.
“Identifying groups of genes that work together, and then targeting these networks of genes, may lead to more effective treatments. Our proof of concept study suggests this network biology approach could help us identify new medications for epilepsy, and the methods can also be applied to other diseases,” [Michael] Johnson[, professor at Imperial College of London in Britain,] noted.
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