Scientists at the University of Leeds are reporting that epilepsy may be prevented from being passed down among families by silencing the gene which causes the condition.
The researchers studied a strain of mouse called Myshkin, which had the most severe form of inherited epilepsy.The defective gene in these mice was Atp1a3. When scientists bred mice with an extra copy of this healthy gene, the offspring of these mice were born without epilepsy.
"Our study has identified a new way in which epilepsy can be caused and prevented in mice, and therefore it may provide clues to potential causes, therapies and preventive measures in human epilepsy," said lead researcher Dr Steve Clapcote.
The details of the study appear in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.