Genetic and phenotype studies of partial epilepsy in Gypsies [ 2007 - 2009 ]

Also known as: Epilepsy in genetic isolate

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Luba Kalaydjieva (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Ivailo Tournev Dr John Mulley Prof Assen Jablensky Prof Josemir Sander

Brief description Epilepsy is one of the most common serious neurological disorders, which affects more than 50 million people worldwide. Genetic research, with a major contribution from Australian researchers, has led to the discovery of many rare forms of the disease caused by mutations in single genes of large effect. However, the vast majority of cases worldwide belong to the so-called genetically complex forms, involving multiple interacting genes and environmental factors. The genetically complex epilepsies have proved particularly difficult to understand and the numerous genetic studies conducted so far have failed to produce important and replicable results. It is becoming increasingly clear that enormous genetic heterogeneity, with many rare mutations occurring in different affected subjects, will be a major obstacle to understanding the molecular basis of complex epilepsies. In this context, genetically isolated populations, which stem from a small number of ancestors, can be particularly helpful and revealing, since their limited genetic diversity means that the number of genes involved in causing complex epilepsies may be smaller and shared between individuals and families. In this study, we will analyze affected families, as well as non-familial cases of epilepsy, from a genetically isolated population - the European Roma-Gypsies. We will determine the number of potential susceptibility genes involved in familial forms, the overlap and differences between families, as well as the contribution of the genes identified in families to the development of sporadic epilepsy.

Funding Amount $AUD 646,136.95

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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