Focus On Epilepsy Research

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Image of EEG. Focus On Epilepsies banner image.

The epilepsies are a set of disorders characterized by recurring seizures, or disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain. Epilepsy affects people of all ages, from infants to the aged, and can result from many causes, including genetic variations, illness, head injury, or abnormal brain development. NIH/NINDS and its community-based research partners are dedicated to finding cures for the epilepsies and/or preventing epilepsy in individuals at risk for seizures.

Featured NINDS Epilepsy Research Initiatives

The NINDS established the Centers Without Walls program in 2010 to rapidly advance epilepsy research through promoting interdisciplinary, collaborative research. Four centers have been funded:

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The Epilepsy 4000 (Epi4K) logo

The Epilepsy 4000 (Epi4K) collaborative has examined genetic data from 4,000 individuals in order to understand the genes underlying epilepsy. See an NIH news release about the center.

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The Center for SUDEP Research (CSR)

The Center for SUDEP Research (CSR) brings together extensive expertise to understand Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy. See an NIH news release about the center.

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Epilepsy Bioinformatics Study for Antiepileptogenic Therapy (EpiBiosS4Rx) logo

The Epilepsy Bioinformatics Study for Antiepileptogenic Therapy (EpiBiosS4Rx) will use studies of animals and patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) leading to post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) in order to develop future clinical trials of epilepsy prevention therapies.

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Channelopathy-Associated Epilepsy Research Center (CAERC)  logo

The Channelopathy-Associated Epilepsy Research Center (CAERC) will combine high-throughput technologies and high-content model systems to investigate the functional consequences of genetic variants in channelopathy-associated epilepsy.

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Epilepsy Multiplatform Variant Prediction (EpiMVP) Center Without Walls logo

The Epilepsy Multiplatform Variant Prediction (EpiMVP) Center Without Walls will develop a modular, highly integrated platform approach to accelerate determination of the functional, pharmacological, neuronal network and whole animal consequences of genetic variants among a range of clinical epilepsy types.

Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories

Research/Disease Areas* FY 2019
(Actual)
FY 2020
(Actual)
FY 2020
(Estimated)
FY 2022
Estimated
Epilepsy $188 $198 $204 $212

Additional funding information on epilepsy research projects funded by the ICARE members, including federal and nonprofit organizations can be accessed at the Interagency Collaborative to Advance Research in Epilepsy Research Portfolio.


*Dollars in millions and rounded
 

Proceedings & Outcomes

Post-Traumatic Epilepsy: Models, Common Data Elements and Optimization

The conference will set the stage to optimize preclinical and clinical research to prevent epileptogenesis following TBI. The results will help improve biomedical research in posttraumatic epilepsy.

ICARE: Interagency Collaborative to Advance Research in Epilepsy, 2021

Epilepsy research needs reach across the missions of multiple NIH Institutes and Centers and across many organizations outside the NIH.  As the primary NIH Institute for epilepsy research, NINDS leads this working group, with broad representation from the NIH, other Federal agencies, and the research and patient advocacy communities. Annual meetings provide a forum for sharing information about ongoing and planned epilepsy research activities, highlighting advances and discussing needs and opportunities, and promoting increased collaboration toward common research goals.

Curing the Epilepsies 2021

This conference, held January 4-6, 2021, was an opportunity for all epilepsy research stakeholders to provide input on the transformative research priorities for the field, and to come together to find ways to move forward "Curing the Epilepsies"

Accelerating the Development of Therapies for Anti-Epileptogenesis and Disease Modification 

The “Accelerating the Development of Therapies for Anti-Epileptogenesis and Disease Modification” workshop, on August 6-7, 2018, brought together experts in the field of epilepsy to optimize and accelerate the development of therapies for anti-epileptogenesis and disease-modification in the epilepsies.

Benchmarks for Epilepsy Research

 

Resources and Tools

Contacts

Adam Hartman, M.D. | Program Director, Office of Clinical Research
adam.hartman@nih.gov

George K. Essien Umanah, Ph.D. | Program Director, Channels, Synapses, and Circuits
umanahgk@ninds.nih.gov

Miriam Leenders, Ph.D. | Program Director, Channels Synapses & Circuits
miriam.leenders@nih.gov

Vicky Whittemore, Ph.D. | Program Director, Channels Synapses & Circuits
vicky.whittemore@nih.gov

Ben Churn, Ph.D. | Program Director, Channels Synapses & Circuits
severn.churn@ninds.nih.gov

Brian Klein, Ph.D. | Program Director, Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program
brian.klein@nih.gov

Funding Opportunities 

Epilepsy Funding Opportunities

 

Related Topics 

This resource contains public and non-confidential chemical structures and biological data for compounds which have been screened for efficacy and toxicity in animal models of epilepsy and related seizure disorders as part of the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP) at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

This resource contains public and non-confidential chemical structures and biological data for compounds which have been screened for efficacy and toxicity in animal models of epilepsy and related seizure disorders as part of the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP) at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

ICARE provides an interagency forum for sharing information about ongoing and planned epilepsy research activities.

The NINDS epilepsy common data elements provide data standards for clinical research in order to improve data quality and facilitate comparison and combination of data across studies.

The ERC provides information about grant and funding opportunities from non-profit and government organizations focused on epilepsy related research.

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