Our Research Portfolio

Every year we receive between 60 and 70 applications for research into all aspects of epilepsy, and our Scientific Advisory Committee has the task of deciding which of these should be supported. The quality grants that we have awarded in recent years are shown below (most recent first).

Sadly, our funding capacity each year is relatively limited, which means that promising applications have to be rejected. Your donation, no matter how large or small, will help us to fund as much excellent research as possible in the future!


A potential new tool for the diagnosis and treatment of childhood epilepsy

Grant round winners 2013 In recent years more than 70 genes have been linked to childhood epilepsies, and the search is still ongoing. Autoimmune conditions, in which the body’s immune system produces antibodies against the brain, have also been identified as potential causes of epilepsy and these are treatable. It is not yet known how common these genetic- and immune-mediated read more

A new tool to investigate epilepsy in Down’s syndrome with Alzheimer’s disease

Grant round winners 2013 Humans normally have 23 pairs of chromosomes in their cell nuclei; one copy (in each pair) from their mother and the other copy from their father. Down’s syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21, and people with this condition are at a greatly increased risk of developing epilepsy. In adulthood read more

Finding out who is at risk of epilepsy after a stroke

Grant round winners 2013 It is widely recognised that having a stroke greatly increases a person’s risk of epilepsy, and statistics show that stroke is the most common cause of epilepsy in people over the age of 60. Every year approximately 150,000 people in the UK suffer a stroke, and this can cause significant brain injury due to bleeding or blockage read more

A new tool to study epilepsy genetics

Grant round winners 2013 In recent years there has been a growing interest in epilepsy susceptibility genes, and approximately 13 have been identified in humans to date. Susceptibility genes do not necessarily cause epilepsy, but they render a person more likely to develop it if they are exposed to certain environmental/metabolic triggers. Rodents are very useful in genetic studies for a read more

Identifying people who are at risk of SUDEP

Grant round winners 2013 Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) accounts for approximately 18% of epilepsy-related deaths. There are a number of factors that are thought to increase the risk of SUDEP, including early onset of epilepsy, poor drug compliance and age; however there are certainly other more fundamental ones that have not yet been confirmed. More research is urgently read more

The role of autoantibodies in epilepsy

Grant round winners 2012 The immune system is our body’s means of defence against harmful substances (toxins, bacteria, viruses) that manage to enter. One of its roles is to produce antibodies, which are designed to selectively destroy disease-causing agents and limit the damage they cause. Occasionally, however, antibodies attack the body itself, leading to an ‘autoimmune’ condition, such as rheumatoid read more

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