Understanding how an individual's genetic make-up can affect their risk of developing epilepsy, the consequences and their response to treatment is central to research at Epilepsy Society Research Centre. Through our research projects, we hope to unravel the complex genetic architecture of the epilepsies and bring new hope for people with the condition.
Pioneering brain imaging is also enabling more people to achieve seizure freedom through epilepsy surgery. Our research has shown that those who become seizure free enjoy better employment prospects and a better quality of life.
Brain and Tissue Bank
The Epilepsy Society Brain and Tissue Bank is dedicated to the study of epilepsy and is a collaborative project between Epilepsy Society and University College London (UCL) and is based at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology.
The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate, protein controlled diet. We are trying to establish why some children with uncontrolled epilepsy respond to it while others don't.
A key outcome for our research is to find the right drug at the right dosage for each individual from the point of diagnosis. Using a specific blood test - an array Comparative Genomic Hybridisation (aCGH) test - we hope to narrow down the field of genes that might cause epilepsy.
Optical coherence tomography
Optical Coherence Tomography - one of the most advanced optical scanning tools - is being used to measure peripheral vision and the thickness of the retinal fibres at the back of the eye.
3D face imaging
We know that the shape of the human face is influenced by genetic factors. Now our researchers are using 3D imaging, or three-dimensional stereophotogrammetry, to establish whether there is a link between face shape and genetic variations which can lead to epilepsy.
Brain imaging for surgery
Many people with focal epilepsy continue to have seizures despite medication. Surgery may offer a cure, but MRI scans are completely normal in about 30 per cent of patients.
Researchers at Epilepsy Society are working alongside renowned scientists from across Europe to identify genetic characteristics that could help to ensure people with epilepsy are given the right medication, at the right dose, at the point of diagnosis.
DOORS syndrome - the genetic basis
A new study, led by our researchers, has unlocked the genetic cause of DOORS syndrome - a rare condition characterised by disabilities including deafness, intellectual impairment and seizures.