In medicine, channelopathy is a catch-all term used to study a wide variety of disorders that affect the body's sodium, potassium, chloride, or calcium ion channels, or else the proteins or protein receptors that regulate them.
Because ion channels control a wide variety of bodily functions, channelopathies can cause a wide variety of symptoms. A few of the symptoms commonly associated with types of channelopathy include periodic paralysis, myotonia, and chronic fatigue.
A channelopathy can either be hereditary or autoimmune, caused by either a malign mutation of a gene governing the formation of an ion channel, or caused by a misdirected attack on the ion channel infrastructure by the body's own immune system.
Channelopathies are only recently starting to become better understood, as advances are made in our understanding of genetics and immunology, and many diseases, conditions, and disorders whose causes were unknown in the past have recently been revealed to be channelopathies.