We aim to understand the processes that underlie the development of epilepsy in order to improve therapeutic options.
The word epilepsy derives from the Greek word epilambanein, meaning ‘to seize’. One in 20 people will have a seizure at some point in their life, and around one in 130 people will develop epilepsy. It is one the most common serious neurological conditions, affecting 600,000 patients in the UK and 50 million people worldwide. As epilepsy often affects people across their lifetime, its socioeconomic impact is substantial.
While multiple anti-epileptic medications are now available, around 30% of people with epilepsy will not become seizure free with currently available anti-epileptic drugs. There has been great advance in surgical treatment of epilepsy and in non-pharmacological approaches, but we need to better understand the processes that underlie the development of epilepsy if we are to improve therapeutic options.
Epilepsy represents far more than seizures alone; it commonly associates with cognitive, psychological and psychosocial difficulties. To advance care for people with epilepsy, each person must be viewed as an individual and holistically. We are developing research and clinical pathways to address co-morbidities associated with epilepsy, as well as aiming to improve our understanding of why seizures occur. Our role is to always try and enable people with epilepsy to achieve their full potential. By increasing our understanding of the processes that underlie a patient’s symptoms we will be able to better deliver on that ambition.