News from Epilepsy Research UK

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

Nathan Liptrot – why I fundraise for research

Posted 5 Dec 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

Nathan has been an enthusiastic fundraiser for us, so we thought we would find out more about why he has chosen Epilepsy Research UK as his ‘charity of choice’. Why is it that any organisation needs to raise funds? In many cases it is because there is a lack of government funding and even where funding is available, voluntary funding read more

Language Development After Epilepsy Surgery in Children: Final Report

This is the final report for a 2011 project grant for £99,805 awarded to Dr Torsten Baldeweg, Dr Frederique Liegeois, Professor Helen Cross, Dr Peter Rankin, and Professor Faraneh Vargha-Khadem at the Institute of Child Health, University College London.  Approximately one third of children with epilepsy do not respond to treatment with medication, and a proportion of these children may be considered for read more

Genetic & Autoimmune Childhood Epilepsy (GACE) Study: Final Report

This is the final report for a 2013 project grant of £149,481 awarded to Professor Sameer Zuberi at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow. The purpose of this study was to investigate how new genetic testing technologies can improve the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. This is the first study of its’ kind, and included all children in Scotland 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

What might we see in epilepsy research developments in the coming years?

Dr Vincenzo Marra from the University of Leicester was awarded an Epilepsy Research UK project grant earlier this year to look at how naturally occurring changes in the brain during a seizure could throw light on new therapeutic targets. As Dr Marra explains: “I am interested in how the brain can handle an enormous amount of information with very little read more

Finding brain imaging measures that help to predict memory outcomes in children after epilepsy surgery: Final Report

Posted 22 Nov 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

This is the final report for a 2015 pilot grant for £21,666 awarded to Professor Stefano Seri, Professor Amanda Wood, and Dr Elaine Foley at Aston University.  Epilepsy surgery in children offers the prospect of fewer seizures and improved overall quality of life; however there is a risk that brain regions that are important for cognition (thinking, learning and memory) will read more

How Biomarkers will Transform epilepsy care in the 2020s

We asked Professor Deb Pal, from King’s College London, who was awarded an ERUK pilot grant in this year’s funding round, to give us his view on where the biggest advances will be made in epilepsy research over the next few years.  Here is his response. At my primary school in the 1970s, we had an old lady music teacher read more

Understanding the genetics of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis: Final Report

This is the final report for a fellowship grant awarded in 2012 for £249,860 to Dr Mar Matarin at UCL.  Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis is the most frequent type of epilepsy in people who do not respond well to medication. This type of epilepsy affects some structures of the brain, particularly the hippocampus which is important for read more

The future of epilepsy research: new personalised treatment options and novel therapeutics.

It is estimated that the first human genome sequenced in 2003 cost almost $1 billion and took four years to complete. Fast-forward fifteen years, and remarkably, genomic technologies have advanced so quickly that DNA sequencing is now a valuable and cost-effective clinical tool. The field of epilepsy research has certainly benefitted from genomics, providing a rapid advance in our understanding read more

A closer look at ……GLUTAMATE

Cells in the brain must communicate with each other to function correctly. They do this using chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters travel to neighbouring cells through junctions called synapses. Glutamate is the most common neurotransmitter in the body. Although glutamate is vital for the healthy functioning of the brain, research has found abnormal patterns of glutamate immediately before epileptic seizures. read more

How does stimulation of the senses affect the way epileptic seizures spread across the brain? Final Report

Posted 15 Nov 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

This is the final report from a 2015 project grant for £147,758 awarded to Dr Jason Berwick, Dr Samuel Harris, Professor Ying Zheng, and Professor Theodore Schwartz at the University of Sheffield.  Epileptic seizures can start in a small part of the brain before quickly spreading to others, but very little is known about how or why. Finding where seizures read more

Investigating the mechanisms of depression in temporal lobe epilepsy: Final Report

Posted 12 Nov 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

This is the final report for a 2015 pilot grant for £29,977 awarded to Dr Jackie Foong and Dr Matthias Koepp at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH.  In this pilot study, Dr Foong and colleagues used brain imaging techniques and psychological tests to investigate how the frontal and temporal areas of the brain work in people with temporal read more

What’s new and exciting in epilepsy research?

We asked Dr Robert Wykes, a translational medicine scientist for his personal perspective.  Here is his response: Despite decades of new anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) reaching market, the problem of drug refractory epilepsy remains. 25-30% of patients do not respond appropriately to AEDs. However in recent years advances in technology and non-pharmacological approaches are beginning to address this clinical need. We read more

A closer look at ……..SYNAPTIC VESICLES

In order to conduct the millions of tasks the human brain completes every day, nerve cells must communicate with each other. Neighbouring cells are connected by junctions, which are called synapses. Chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, must travel from one cell to another across a synapse in order to deliver a message. Before travelling across synapses, these chemical messengers are stored read more

The role of autoantibodies in epilepsy: Final Report

This is the final report for a project grant awarded in 2012 for £149,916 to Professor Bethan Lang, Professor Sarosh Irani, Dr Jane Adcock, Dr Holger Kramer, and Professor Arjune Sen at the University of Oxford.  The immune system normally protects a person from infections by making specialised agents called antibodies which normally recognise “foreign targets” and destroy them. Doctors utilise read more

What does the future of Epilepsy Research hold?

Dr Simon Keller at the University of Liverpool was awarded a £73,220 project grant in this year’s funding round.  We asked Dr Keller and his colleague Professor Tony Marson for their perspective on what the next ten years of epilepsy research hold. This is what they said: “It is difficult to know for sure how treatments for seizures will improve read more

Epilepsy Research UK on Tour – Birmingham

Posted 26 Oct 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

On Wednesday 26 September, Epilepsy Research UK travelled to Birmingham to host an evening together with some of our regional researchers and supporters. The annual ILAE (International League Against Epilepsy) conference was taking place, so it was a great opportunity for us to see our researchers! ERUK Research Manager Caoimhe Bennett put together a programme of speakers for us to read more

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