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Theme 2: Disease modification and therapeutics

Epilepsy is a diverse condition, with many underlying causes, seizure types and responses to treatments, all of which can vary greatly among individuals.

This individual variability poses a significant challenge in epilepsy management, but also presents an opportunity for personalised treatment approaches in genetics, pharmacology and neuroimaging.

Finding treatments for drug-resistant epilepsy and treatments that effectively control seizures while minimising side effects, is vital for people with epilepsy. By understanding the intricate causes of epilepsy and the pathways involved in seizure generation, researchers can design medications that specifically target these pathways in a way that works for all people with epilepsy.

Our research priorities

  • Develop a pipeline to identify and test new treatments for epilepsy that will not only stop seizures, but prevent seizures occurring in the first place. The pipeline will include genomic discovery, further discovery and mechanistic work in animal and human cell tissue models and clinical trials.
  • Identify mechanisms by which the human brain becomes susceptible to unprovoked seizures that are ‘druggable’.
  • Identify treatment for exemplar rare genetic epilepsies, leveraging international collaborations and consortia to which we are already key partners.
  • Identify ‘druggable’ pathways in common focal and generalised epilepsies.
  • Develop screening algorithms including AI to prioritise candidate treatments.
  • Clinical trials programme (early and later phase) in collaboration with industry and UKRI.