Find out more about epilepsy and how it is researched with videos of some of the lectures organised by Epilepsy Research UK.
Why is epilepsy research important?
Professor David Chadwick, University of Liverpool
The management of epilepsy has improved considerably over the last 30 years. The main driver for this has been research that spans both the molecular and clinical aspects of the condition. Examples of research advances will be provided across this range. While the future is likely to see accelerating change, there are many barriers that exist to ensure that patients benefit from continued advances. (2010)
Circuit breakers in the brain: might epilepsy arise from a problem in the brain’s fuse box?
Dr Andrew Trevelyan, Epilepsy Research UK Fellow, University of Newcastle
How do epileptic and non-epileptic brains differ? Andrew has tried to unravel the answer to this question, using new microscopy techniques to film epileptic activity. These techniques give a remarkable picture of how seizures might develop, and also suggested an important role for a particular set of nerve cells. Whenever there is a surge of activity in the brain, which puts it at risk of a seizure, these neurons try to ‘calm things down’. In this way, they seem to act in a similar manner to circuit breakers in electrical appliances. In his presentation, Andrew will explain how this idea can explain many different facets of epilepsy; from how genetic mutations give rise to seizures, right up to the nature of EEG rhythms. He will also discuss how these detailed studies of cell behaviour may lead to new ways of helping people who suffer with epilepsy. (2010)
Women with epilepsy preparing for pregnancy
Miss Janine Winterbottom, Epilepsy Research UK Fellow, University of Liverpool
The care of women with epilepsy has changed dramatically over the last two decades, with increased research attention focusing on the outcomes of pregnancy, together with improvements in healthcare recommending the delivery of preconception counselling to women with epilepsy during their childbearing years. In this presentation, Janine will focus on the results of a qualitative study, illustrating how women interpret and utilise preconception information prior to, during and following clinic attendance. The results highlight the importance of recognising how pregnancy planning is defined by women, and the processes through which women with epilepsy balance risks and uncertainty alongside their pregnancy desires. (2010)
Individualising care for people with epilepsy and learning disability
Professor Mike Kerr, Welsh Centre for Learning Disabilities, Cardiff
The management of epilepsy can be at its most challenging in people with a learning disability. Unfortunately, repeated enquiries suggest that in many aspects of health care, services fail this challenge. This presentation will explore how individualising patient care could be a solution to this issue. For the clinician, this allows a greater understanding of causation, treatment choice and prognosis. For the patient and their carers, the process could lead to greater empowerment over, and understanding of, epilepsy and its impact. (2009)
New drugs: revolution or spin?
Dr John Paul Leach, Southern General Hospital and Western Infirmary, Glasgow
Treatment of epilepsy has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. Yet how much of this means anything to patients? Is there a danger that this so-called progress is only of help to the companies producing these new drugs? This talk will cover the new drugs, what sets them apart from their counterparts, and whether this means progress or just more expense. (2009)