Mapping of genes predisposing to idiopathic generalized epilepsy

F. Zara, A. Bianchi, G. Avanzini, S. Di Donato, B. Castellotti, P. I. Patel, M. Pandolfo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE) is characterized by recurring generalized seizures in the absence of detectable brain lesions and/or metabolic abnormalities. Twin and family studies suggest that genetic factors play a key part in IGE. A multilocus model appears to best fit the observed inheritance patterns. Mapping of ICE-related genes has been previously attempted using parametric methods, with conflicting results. In particular, recent evidence argues both for and against a chromosome 6p locus (EJM1) for juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, a subtype of IGE. We have approached the problem of mapping IGE loci using non-parametric methods, which have recently been successful for other complex diseases. No evidence for linkage to chromosome 6p was obtained. However, we obtained evidence for involvement of a locus at chromosome 8q24, close to the marker D8S256. The same 8q24 region was previously implicated in families with benign neonatal familial convulsions (BNFC), a generalized epilepsy syndrome that is inherited as a simple dominant mendelian trait. There is an apparent conserved syntenic group of genes in human 8q24 and a region of mouse chromosome 15, which harbors the stargazer (stg) locus. Homozygous mutant mice at the stg locus show a form of generalized epilepsy that resembles human absence epilepsy. Our findings may have implications for a locus on 8q24 predisposing to IGE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1207
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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