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Genetic Factors in Seizures: A Population-Based Study of 47,626 US, Norwegian and Danish Twin Pairs

  • Marianne J. Kjeldsen (a1), Linda A. Corey (a2), Marit H. Solaas (a3), Mogens L. Friis (a4), Jennifer R. Harris (a5), Kirsten O. Kyvik (a6), Kaare Christensen (a7) and John M. Pellock (a8)...

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to describe a large sample of twins reporting a history of seizures, to characterize seizures in the three subpopulations, and to estimate the relative importance of genetic and environmental factors in seizure occurrence. Seizure history was determined by questionnaires completed by twins in population-based twin registries in the United States, Norway and Denmark. Concordance rates were calculated for all seizure categories within and across twin populations. Of 47,626 twin pairs evaluated, 6234 reported a history of seizures in one or both twins. Concordance rates were significantly higher for monozygotic (MZ) versus dizygotic (DZ) pairs for all seizure categories within and across populations. The results of this study involving the largest unselected, population-based sample of twins with seizures assembled to date confirm the importance of genetic factors in determining risk for epilepsy, febrile seizures, other seizures and staring spells. This sample is likely to provide an important resource for studying the genetics of epilepsy subtypes and febrile seizures.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Marianne J. Kjeldsen, MD, Department of Neurology, Odense University Hospital, Sdr. Boulevard 29, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark.

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