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Research strategy

Informed by the UK Epilepsy Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) Top Ten priorities, our research strategy focuses on four key themes that will make the biggest difference to people affected by epilepsy. Under each of the four themes are specific priorities for researchers and research funders.

To push forward progress in these four areas, we also have a separate accelerator theme focused on building the epilepsy ecosystem.

We will build an infrastructure that supports research, encourages shared learning and nurtures talent. We will harness enabling technologies, ensure research and clinical data is widely available to researchers, foster collaborations and attract early years researchers.  Crucially, we will also ensure people affected by epilepsy are at the heart of all research and able to shape how studies are designed and delivered.

By developing the research environment and infrastructure, we enable researchers to address the questions most important to the epilepsy community.

Theme 1:

There is a complex interplay between seizures, cognition, memory and mental health. By increasing our knowledge of the link between epilepsy and neurodevelopmental conditions, and by improving our understanding of the overlap between these disorders, we’ll be able to reduce the impact of the condition on people living with epilepsy, and those around them.


Theme 2:
Disease modification and therapeutics

Developing treatments that effectively control seizures while minimising side effects is vital for people with epilepsy. By understanding the causes of epilepsy and the pathways involved in seizure generation, researchers will be able to develop personalised treatment options to maximise efficacy, minimise side effects and improve overall outcomes.


Theme 3:
Mortality, risk and morbidity

People living with epilepsy are up to three times more likely to die prematurely than those without it, and every day 21 people die from epilepsy-related deaths. Many of these deaths are potentially preventable, but to prevent them we need to better understand the causes and be able to identify those who are at risk. Through research we aim to reduce the mortality and morbidity of epilepsy, and enable risks associated with the condition to be more effectively managed. 


Theme 4:
Reproduction and hormones

Many anti-seizure medications cause malformations in babies when they are exposed in utero. But we do not understand the mechanisms by which malformations occur. Nor do we understand the risk posed to children fathered by men taking anti-seizure medications, or if there are transgenerational effects. By focusing research in this area we seek to develop treatment options that will not cause any congenital malformations or cognitive impairments.


AMRC membership

Membership of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) is the hallmark of quality and credibility. It means we fund high-quality research that is associated with a published research strategy and has a robust peer-review process and an exhaustive conflicts of interest policy.

As members, our research procedures are audited every five years to ensure they meet the exacting membership standards. For universities, government and funding bodies, AMRC membership is a recognised indicator of quality. We also attend regular training alongside other research charities to develop best practice approaches and share learning.