New research reveals gene mutation links to epilepsy and learning disabilities in Children

Research by Swansea University academics and Seattle Children’s Research Institute has identified a new gene which affects brain development and could cause epilepsy and learning disabilities in children.

Neurology and molecular neuroscience researchers at the College of Medicine, led by Professor Mark Rees, the Center for Neural Development and Disease at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and Seattle Children’s Research Institute worked as part of an international multidisciplinary team on the research, which is published in the American Journal of Human Genetics (Cell Press Journal).

The researchers found the new gene can disrupt in utero and neonatal brain development resulting in children developing untreatable epilepsy or learning disabilities.  These are almost exclusively non-hereditary genetic disorders and the children affected would often need continuous care throughout their life.