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!


The link between sleep problems in infants with epilepsy and social and cognitive development

Grant winner 2016: “Our data will indicate whether offering a standard sleep assessment using sleep diaries or actigraphy for newly diagnosed infants would be a low-cost and effective way to avoid cascading consequences of early sleep problems on subsequent socio-cognitive development. Since sleep is a modifiable risk factor, sleep problems could be addressed if picked up early, which could reduce seizure incidence, lead to an increased quality of life of families, and save costs.

We also aim to communicate the results of our study to caregivers and clinicians as quickly as possible in order to draw their attention onto the importance of sleep in early onset epilepsy.” Dr Manuela Pisch

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

2015 grant: “This research will investigate the mechanisms by which seizures spread across the brain. If we can understand how the seizures spread we will be in a far better position to develop novel treatments to reduce, or even prevent, the spread of seizure activity.” Dr Jason Berwick, University of Sheffield

Looking back at the causes of death of people in Scotland with epilepsy, over a five-year period

2015 grant: “This study will give us a much better understanding of the risk factors for epilepsy-related death. We also hope that it will highlight changes in epilepsy care that might help to avoid some of these deaths.” Dr Susan Duncan, Western General Hospital Edinburgh & Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre

Cortical electrical stimulation for the treatment of focal epilepsy

2015 grant: “Drug-resistant focal epilepsies are notoriously difficult to manage, and they impact enormously on the lives of those of affected. Hopefully this technique will provide a new treatment option that will help to improve people’s quality of life and reduce epilepsy-related injuries.” Dr Gonzalo Alarcon, King’s College London

Investigating how epilepsy is triggered after a brain injury

2015 grant: “We want to understand why someone might develop epilepsy after suffering a head injury, such as stroke, infection or head trauma. These are major causes of epilepsy and, currently, we just don’t know why or how this happens (and so we have no way of preventing it). This project will provide crucial insights into how epilepsy can develop, and we hope that ultimately it will lead to good prophylactic treatments.” Dr Andrew Trevelyan, Newcastle University

Validating computer models for understanding the underlying networks of seizure onset

2015 grant: “The misdiagnosis of epilepsy remains a significant clinical problem, which can lead to delayed or unnecessary treatment. Our computer-based tool offers real potential to bring personalised medicine into epilepsy, which will ensure that people presenting at clinic receive an effective diagnosis and rapid access to the most appropriate treatment.” Professor John Terry, University of Exeter

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