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Commission on Genetics

Commission Members

Ruth Ottman, Chair Jeffrey L Noebels
José Serratosa Iscia Lopes-Cendes
Shinchi Hirose Satish Jain
Federico Zara, Secretary Holger Lerche 
Ingrid Scheffer  


  1. To facilitate the identification of human epilepsy genes on a worldwide scale
  2. To make the results of genetic research on the epilepsies readily accessible to clinicians
  3. To improve the public understanding of genetic factors in epilepsy
  4. To work with related ILAE commissions to increase understanding of genes that affect risk for epilepsy, including the phenotypes they influence and their role in basic mechanisms of epileptogenesis and anti-epileptogenesis

To advise the ILAE Executive Committee on all questions relating to the genetics of the epilepsies, to encourage genetic research that can improve epilepsy diagnosis and therapy, and to educate clinicians, individuals with epilepsy, and their families about genetic advances in epilepsy

Commission activities from 1 January 2006 until 31 May 2007
A meeting of the full Commission was held in December 2006 at the AES meeting in San Diego. At that meeting, an outline was prepared for a Commission Report entitled “Guidelines for Genetic Testing in the Epilepsies.” Following this meeting, commission members have communicated regularly by e-mail, and have written, critiqued, and commented on sections on the guidelines report. They also provided suggestions for a commission-sponsored symposium at the IEC in Singapore, which were compiled by the chair, reviewed by all members, and submitted as a proposal.

The Genetics Commission continues to support educational activities through active oversight and participation with other internal and external committees. One significant achievement was the successful development of the EUREPA Distance Education Course on Genetics organized in 2006.

Other activities include supporting the Genetics Special Interest Group at the Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society, as well as organizing and participating in international symposia, and workshops, and the ILAE International Congress.

Accomplishments (2006)
Substantial progress has been made in drafting of the Guidelines for Genetic Testing in the Epilepsies. Two of the four sections have been completed, and commission members are actively working on the remaining two. A full day symposium entitled “Epilepsy Genetics in the 21st Century: Building Bridges from the Laboratory to Patient Care” has been planned for the IEC in Singapore, and will be co-sponsored by the Genetics and Neurobiology Commissions. Plans are underway for publishing the material presented in the talks as a supplement to Epilepsia.

Recommendations for Future Work
A full Commission meeting is planned for Singapore, at which time the completed draft of the guidelines report will be reviewed by all members. We plan to submit the report to Epilepsia soon thereafter. At the Singapore meeting, we will set specific plans for activities in the coming year.

Ruth Ottman
Chair, Commission on Genetics 



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