The Response: The Epilepsy Discovery Program
Epilepsy is the second most common neurological condition worldwide, after headaches. In Ontario, it affects 76,000 people.
The disorder causes seizures of varying kinds and intensity. But people with epilepsy must also live with other devastating results of their illness: the social stigma associated with seizures, difficulty finding employment, loss of driving privileges, cognitive decline and memory impairment, and higher mortality rates.
The cost to society is also significant. A recent study estimated that the Ontario economy loses $319 million every year in lost productivity due to epilepsy.
The Ontario Brain Institute challenged neuroscientists across the province to come up with a new approach to addressing epilepsy, in the context of an Integrated Discovery program. “Integrated Discovery” is a unique template, developed by the OBI, that brings together researchers, clinicians, industry and patient advocates to maximize fresh insights and speed translation of those insights into better care.
The result was the Epilepsy Discovery Program.
The program is breaking new ground by…
- deepening our understanding of the genetics and physiology of epilepsy, using new tools in genomics and imaging.
- exploring ways to accelerate diagnosis.
- developing new treatments targeted at individuals with drug-resistant epilepsy.
The Epilepsy Discovery Program involves 12 major institutions in four Ontario cities, 26 researchers and clinicians, seven industry partners and seven patient advocacy organizations.
- EpLink website