-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
FRIDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- An epilepsy gene, called
LGI2, has been found in Lagotto Romagnolos -- a specific breed of
dog known for truffle hunting, according to a new study.
Researchers say the newly identified gene has enabled the
development of a DNA test for these dogs. The gene discovery is
also significant for humans, providing new perspective on the
development of a child's brain and the remission mechanisms in
childhood epilepsies, they added.
The findings were published in the July 28 online edition of
An epileptic seizure is caused by an electronic disturbance in
brain function. Childhood epilepsies, in particular, are
characterized by remission (the seizures begin and last for a while
before they disappear completely). The mechanisms behind the
remissions, however, have largely remained a mystery, the authors
noted in a University of Helsinki news release.
Although not previously linked to human epilepsies, in
conducting the study, the investigators found the gene is a new
candidate gene for childhood epilepsy.
The findings provide insight on the pathways and mechanisms that
control the development of a child's brain, optimizing its
structure for electrical stability into adulthood, the study
authors pointed out.
The researchers concluded that their findings will help uncover
the molecular bases of the brain's transformation from its immature
state in infancy to its full potential in early adulthood, the
study's senior co-author Dr. Berge Minassian, senior scientist and
pediatric epileptologist at The Hospital for Sick Children in
Toronto, noted in the news release.
The Epilepsy Foundation has more about
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