In sudden death in epilepsy, people stop breathing for no apparent reason and die. Now, a group of UConn neuroscientists have a lead as to why. Many neurologists argue that a bad seizure can travel through the brain to cause breathing or heartbeat malfunction, and that's what kills. But epileptics can die suddenly without having an obvious seizure. Instead, the researchers have evidence a genetic mutation that causes the seizures also disrupts the cells that control breathing.