The epilepsies are a clinically heterogeneous group of common brain diseases which are refractory to pharmacotherapy in up to one-third of patients. The discovery of DNA variants that cause or predispose to epilepsy has the potential to lead to new treatments that are based on the protein products or functional pathways of implicated genes. Overlap of gene classes involved in several broad phenotypic categories of epilepsy provides a means to prioritize various genetic leads for therapy development. In cases of epilepsy that are influenced strongly by single genetic defects, treatments may be personalized based upon the structural nature of the DNA alteration rather than on the function of the defective gene(s) or pathway(s). However, since most cases of epilepsy may be polygenic, the extent to which this approach may be widely applicable is unclear, thus creating a need for development of new target-based medications as well as further refinement of currently effective therapies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Pharmacology (medical)