Up to 1% of the world’s population suffer from epilepsy, which makes it one of the most common neurological disorders. Epilepsy may be caused by a brain injury or may have a genetic origin. However, in most cases the cause is not known and the origin usually has no bearing on the choice of treatment.
It is estimated that, in the US, where about 22 000 – 42 000 deaths per year are caused by epileptic seizure emergencies, society’s cost for epilepsy is over USD 15 bn per year.
A range of anti-epileptic drugs is available but about 30% of patients are not sufficiently helped by drugs or develop severe side effects. Some of these patients may be helped by resective epilepsy surgery in which the part of the brain causing the seizures is removed, but for the majority of drug-resistant patients a safe and effective treatment is not yet available. That is the patient group for which CombiGene’s method is primarily intended.
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