NIH News Release
National Institute of
Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Thursday, September 30, 1999

Contact: Natalie Frazin or Margo Warren
(301) 496-5751

Note to Writers and Editors
Researchers Identify Location of Childhood Febrile Seizures Gene

Researchers funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) have identified the location of a gene that causes hereditary febrile (fever-related) seizures in the infants and children of a large Utah family. A press release on this finding from the Annals of Neurology is attached.

Below is a statement from Margaret Jacobs, program director for epilepsy and seizure disorders at NINDS.

"Epilepsy research is benefiting from an explosion in the field of genetics. While other genes have been linked to uncommon forms of febrile seizures, this gene is linked to febrile seizures that resemble those seen in the general population. Identification of large families such as the one in Utah enables researchers to map genes to specific chromosomes and eventually to discover the genes themselves, thus contributing to understanding underlying disease mechanisms. Febrile seizures are the most common form of childhood seizures. Since they may be associated with the development of seizures and epilepsy later in life, discovery of the responsible gene or genes has important implications for designing new drugs and therapies."

Attachment: Press Release-Utah Researchers Locate Childhood Fever Seizure Gene

1. Peiffer, A.; Thompson, J.; Otterud, B.; Varvil, T.; Pappas, C.; Barnitz, C.; Gruenthal, K.; Kuhn, R.; and Leppert, M. "A locus for febrile seizures (FEB3) maps to chromosome 2q23-24." Annals of Neurology, Vol. 46, October 1999, pp. 670-677.