The occurrence of epilepsy and febrile seizures in Virginian and Norwegian twins

L A Corey, K Berg, J M Pellock, M H Solaas, W E Nance, R J DeLorenzo
Neurology 1991, 41 (9): 1433-6
Twin studies provide an efficient method for examining the importance of genetic and environmental factors in the etiology of disorders such as epilepsy. Population-based twin registries are especially valuable for studies of this type since effects of reporting and self-selection biases on the resulting data are minimized. Among 14,352 twin pairs contained in the Virginia and Norwegian twin panels for whom questionnaire information was available, there was a history of epilepsy in one or both members of 286 pairs; febrile seizures were reported in 257 pairs. Analyses of questionnaire data revealed no significant differences in concordance rates between Virginian and Norwegian twins for either epilepsy or febrile seizures. Probandwise concordance rates for epilepsy were 0.19 in monozygotic twins and 0.07 in dizygotic twins. Analogous rates for febrile seizures were 0.33 (monozygotic) and 0.11 (dizygotic). These results provide further evidence that genetic factors do have a role in the expression of epilepsy and febrile seizures.

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