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Medical research project to shed light on epilepsy

By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-09-09 18:20

China's first national precision medicine research project on epilepsy, aiming to find standard treatment plans and develop new targeted drugs, has been initiated by 15 hospitals nationwide, led by the Children's Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai.

The project, launched on Sept 6, is expected to be completed at the end of 2018 and will collect biological samples from 20,000 people, including children and adults, and carry out genetic and metabolic tests on them. Technological research methods in the areas of molecular genetics, nerve physiology and multi-moding brain imaging will enable researchers to establish a biological sample bank and draw the country's epilepsy-related gene mutation map.

Wang Yi, deputy head of the Children's Hospital of Fudan University, who is in charge of the project, said there are about 65 million sufferers of epilepsy worldwide, including 10 million in China.

"The disease causes a heavy psychological and social burden on sufferers and their families," Wang said.

She said the project might also bring about breakthroughs in early diagnosis of the disease and more precise prognosis.

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