Grants made in 2014

The link between stress and seizures: Final Report

In 2014 Professor Stafford Lightman at the University of Bristol was awarded a pilot grant of £29,208 to investigate the link between stress and seizures. The association between stress and seizures is well recognised, however the mechanisms for this relationship are still not understood. Professor Lightman and his team from the University of Bristol and the University of Exeter, focused read more

Cutting-edge techniques to explore brain cell activity in epilepsy: Final Report

This is the final report for a 2014 fellowship grant for £211,516 awarded to Dr Rob Wykes at UCL.  Recent technical advances allow optical imaging of neocortical network activity in exquisite detail using rodent models. Dr Wykes at UCL was amongst the first apply this technology to study important questions in the field of epilepsy. Using a cutting-edge technique called read more

Important new finding in the mechanisms underlying SUDEP

An Epilepsy Research UK-funded study has made an important finding in the mechanisms underlying sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), which may lead to treatment options in the future. Professor John Jeffreys at the University of Oxford has been working alongside researchers at Purdue University and the University of Bristol on the project, funded by ERUK in 2014. The research read more

The link between stress and seizures

People with epilepsy frequently report emotional stress in the lead-up to a seizure; but although the association between stress and seizures is well recognised, the mechanisms for it are still not understood. The steroid hormone cortisol is secreted by the body in spurts over the course of the day, and its levels increase dramatically during stress. Cortisol is known to have major read more

A potential new treatment for childhood epilepsy

EEG-biofeedback is a non-invasive learning strategy that can enable a person to alter his/her brain wave activity.  It has already been shown to be a safe and effective therapeutic option for some adults with epilepsy, but as yet there are no data available for children. Mrs Gina Parker and colleagues, at Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Trust, have been awarded £9,965 read more

Predicting the response to a first anti-epileptic drug

The most common type of epilepsy is idiopathic (meaning of unknown cause) generalised epilepsy or IGE. When IGE is first diagnosed, most people will be treated with an anti-epileptic drug (AED), but only half will find their seizures stop completely in the following year. There are currently no tests to tell neurologists whether a person will respond to AED treatment, read more

Cutting-edge techniques to explore brain cell activity in epilepsy

Focal neocortical epilepsy (in which seizures arise in a specific part of the neocortex – the brain’s folded surface) is often resistant to anti-epileptic drugs, and there is an urgent need for new treatment strategies. Dr Rob Wykes, at University College London, has recently developed an animal model of chronic focal neocortical epilepsy, which has become a powerful tool for read more

Are new methods as good as traditional ones in assessing the neurodevelopmental outcomes of anti-epileptic drug exposure before birth?

For women with epilepsy pregnancy requires very careful planning, because several anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) have been shown to increase the chance of birth defects in the unborn child. Exposure to certain AEDs before birth can also have effects upon a child’s behaviour and development, but the nature of these is not fully understood and further research is needed. Traditional methods read more

Identifying side effects of epilepsy drug treatment in people with learning disability

Epilepsy is more common in adults with learning disability than in the ‘general population’, and there is concern amongst professionals and carers about the physical and behavioural side effects of anti-epileptic drug (AED) treatment in this group. However, it is unclear how best to identify and measure these side effects and their impact on wellbeing. Dr Rachel McNamara and colleagues, read more

News categories