Treatment for a condition called Catastrophic Epilepsy is one step closer due to a recent breakthrough by scientists.
According to Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), a mutation in a specific gene labelled ARX has been isolated as the cause of the disease.
Using a mouse model of the condition, neurologists were able to ascertain the mechanism that causes it to arise, which therefore offers hope that more effective treatments and a potential cure could be on the horizon.
Dr Jeffrey Noebels, professor of neurology, neuroscience and molecular and human genetics at BCM and director of the Blue Bird Circle Developmental Neurogenetics Laboratory at BCM, was involved in the research.
He commented: "While many genes underlying various forms of childhood epilepsy have been identified in the past decade, most cause a disorder of 'pure' seizures.
"The new model is an essential tool to find a cure for the disorder."
Of the 50 million people around the world who have epilepsy, 90 per cent are resident in developing countries.