The genetic revolution: friend or foe for epilepsy

Our recent public lecture on the role of genetics in epilepsy research was a great success!

On Wednesday 15th March, our centre director Dr Richard Chin and preclinical researcher Professor Cathy Abbott gave a public lecture about how advances in genetics will help increase our understanding of epilepsy.


Cathy And Richard After Talk 

The talk was very well attended and we would like to thank everyone who came along. In particular, there was a noticeable turnout from students and teachers from high schools including Portobello High, the Royal High, The Mary Erskin School and George Watson’s.  


Richard began by talking about what epilepsy is, how much epilepsy can vary between individual cases, how epilepsy is more than just seizures and how we diagnose it using specific examples. Cathy followed by discussing the ways we can use genetics to identify new causes of epilepsy and introduced one such cause that is being investigated in her lab. Some children have mutations in a gene called eEF1A2 – this causes seizures which vary in type and severity between individual cases. Her group is working hard to find out how these mutations lead to epilepsy and what kind of treatments we may be able to offer these children in the future.


Therefore by identifying the genetic cause of epilepsy for each individual, we can target specific treatments that will be effective for their specific epilepsy. This has become possible due to recent advances in genetics research and in time will change the way we think about treating epilepsies.


Following the talk, Richard and Cathy answered questions put forward by the audience. Many people were interested to know how the advances in research may specifically affect their own friends and family members with epilepsy. Our speakers then stayed to chat with attendees during the reception over drinks and nibbles. This was a great opportunity for people to ask more detailed questions in a relaxed atmosphere.


The entire talk can be viewed by clicking the link and you can find out more about Cathy’s research here. Thanks again to everyone who attended – we were delighted so many could make it and for all the interesting questions and discussions!


Cathy And Richard Talk