Genetic Markers of Cardiovascular Disease in Epilepsy


About this study

Epilepsy is a common condition which affects over 3 million people in the US. Patients with uncontrolled epilepsy have a lifetime risk of sudden unexpected death (SUDEP) of 35%, which is greatest in those under 40 years of age. The exact mechanisms and causes are not understood but can be due to underlying conditions which affect the heart and brain, which may lead to dangerous heart rhythms and death. Some of these conditions which affect heart and brain have an identifiable genetic cause. This study aims to identify known genetic causes of heart rhythm and sudden death related disorders in patients with epilepsy.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Adults (age 18+) with a diagnosis of epilepsy or seizures, or syncope or drowning or cardiac arrest or sudden death or an abnormal ECG suggestive of an arrhythmia.
  • Family members (age 18+) of a patient with a history of epilepsy, seizure, cardiac arrest, sudden death, drowning, syncope or arrhythmia.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Those who are unable to provide written consent.
  • Prisoners (vulnerable population).
  • Seizures secondary to ischemic events.
  • Traumatic brain injury resulting in seizures.
  • History of cranial surgery.
  • History of brain tumor.

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Virend Somers, M.D., Ph.D.

Open for enrollment

Contact information:

Sleep and Cardiovascular Clinical Research Unit

More information


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