Findings made after a significant study could lead to the development of new treatments for those with epilepsy.

Researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) collaborated with researchers in 17 other countries as part of the major international study.

The study involved the comparison of the DNA of over 15,000 people who have epilepsy versus 30,000 people who do not have the condition.

According to experts, new treatments for epilepsy could be developed thanks to this international research, the largest study of its kind.

Over 600 Irish people with epilepsy were involved in the study. It is estimated that epilepsy affects around 40,000 people in Ireland and some 65 million people around the world.

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Large genetic study has discovered 11 new genes associated with epilepsy.

Led by international researchers including RCSI scientists, the findings may inform the development of new treatments of the condition. @IlaeWeb

— RCSI (@RCSI_Irl) December 10, 2018

According to the Irish Examiner, the project identified 11 new genes as being linked to epilepsy, as well as tripling the number of known genetic associations.

The findings will help to create a better understanding of genetic factors associated with common forms of epilepsy.

Gianpiero Cavalleri, associate professor at RSCI’s department of molecular and cellular therapeutics, said the study shows the power of scientists collaborating across countries and continents.

“This is another important step on the road towards curing the epilepsies,” he said.

Autoimmune Epilepsy and Gut Bacteria: Prof. Gianpiero Cavalleri of @MCT_RCSI and @Futureneuro_ie outlines his research which has been funded by @hrbireland, @MRCGie and @epilepsyireland #RCSIResearch

— RCSI (@RCSI_Irl) November 7, 2018

Norman Delanty, a consultant neurologist at Dublin's Beaumont Hospital, said the study which combined 150 researchers across Europe, Australia, Asia, and North and South America, will encourage researchers to develop personalized and precision therapies for patients with difficult and complex epilepsy.

The resultant scientific paper was published in the Nature Communications journal, with Cavalleri as one of the lead authors. It can be accessed here.

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