Rapid advances in genomics mean that more people with epilepsy may benefit

Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Centre have shown how quickly rapid advancements in genomics may benefit epilepsy patients.

In a third of epilepsy cases reviewed in children, there was a change of diagnosis based on the new available data and in some cases this led to doctors prescribing more effective treatments.

The study suggests that reviews should be conducted every two years to keep on top of recent scientific advances to ensure that everyone is benefitting from the latest research findings and developments into the genetics of epilepsy.

One child who benefitted from these advances was Lorenzo Fullen who was diagnosed with nocturnal epilepsy and prescribed medications, which had little effect on the frequency of his seizures.   Finally, at age 13, UT Southwestern experts in Texas conducted a genetic test that indicated that Lorenzo’s epilepsy stemmed from the nicotine receptors in the brain — targets that could be controlled by nicotine patches.  Lorenzo was given this new treatment and more than three years later remains seizure free.

To read more about this research and how it changed the life of this one patient, please use the link here:

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