Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

UCL, Congenica, UK Epilepsy Society to Examine Genetic Risk Factors for Sudden Epileptic Death

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The UK's Epilepsy Society is teaming with University College London and British clinical genomics interpretation software developer Congenica to look for potential genetic causes of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, or SUDEP.

Researchers at UCL and the Epilepsy Society announced just after midnight Tuesday, UK time — the start of SUDEP Awareness Day — that they will conduct an initial study of 100 cases of the rare condition. They will employ Congenica's Sapientia diagnostic decision support system to analyze whole-genome and whole-exome sequences of this cohort in search of genetic markers for the disease.

SUDEP affects about 1 in 1,000 adults and 1 in 4,500 children and adolescents with epilepsy each year, the partners said.

Epilepsy Society Director of Genomics Sanjay Sisodiya, a professor at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, will lead the research. "This important study may help us find and understand some possible risk factors for SUDEP," he said in a statement. "Collaborating with Congenica will ensure analyses of the data are robust and comprehensive, optimizing the chances of discovery."

"The genomic knowledge generated in this project has great potential to positively impact the way we manage epilepsy patients by better understanding any underlying genetic factors that might contribute to SUDEP," added Congenica Chief Scientific Officer Nick Lench.

The Scan

International Team Proposes Checklist for Returning Genomic Research Results

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics present a checklist to guide the return of genomic research results to study participants.

Study Presents New Insights Into How Cancer Cells Overcome Telomere Shortening

Researchers report in Nucleic Acids Research that ATRX-deficient cancer cells have increased activity of the alternative lengthening of telomeres pathway.

Researchers Link Telomere Length With Alzheimer's Disease

Within UK Biobank participants, longer leukocyte telomere length is associated with a reduced risk of dementia, according to a new study in PLOS One.

Nucleotide Base Detected on Near-Earth Asteroid

Among other intriguing compounds, researchers find the nucleotide uracil, a component of RNA sequences, in samples collected from the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu, as they report in Nature Communications.