What are cells?  

Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things. The human body has trillions of cells, each with a specific function. Some of these include:

  • Provide structure and support
  • Facilitate growth
  • Produce energy
  • Create metabolic reactions


What are chromosomes?  

Chromosomes are bundles of tightly coiled deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) found in the nucleus of every cell. In the nucleus, there are 23 pairs of chromosomes, of which half are passed down from each parent.  


What are genes?  

All 23 pairs of chromosomes contain thousands of genes, which are made up of DNA. Every person has two copies of each gene, one inherited and passed down from each parent. Most but not all genes act as instructions for making proteins in the body. Proteins perform many functions in the body that keep the body functioning normally. They carry the information that determines a person’s traits, such as their eye colour, hair colour and height. Each cell in the body contains around 20,000 to 30,000 genes.  


Epilepsy and genes  

Abnormal changes to a single or group of genes can cause epilepsy and the onset of seizures. There are many different seizure types and syndromes associated with genetic epilepsy. Every person’s experience with genetic epilepsy will be different. To learn more about genetic epilepsy, click here.

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