Epilepsy (Canada) Top 10 Priorities
- Can genetic markers be used to diagnose and treat epilepsy and seizure disorders?
- What are the impacts of long-term use of anti-seizure drugs, the causes of side-effects of these treatments and how we can prevent the side effects?
- What are the long-term impacts of seizures on a person’s brain, and overall health and development?
- How can the risk of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) be reduced in people with epilepsy?
- What is the most effective testing protocol for determining causes of seizures and/or a diagnosis of epilepsy or other seizure disorders and reduce time to diagnosis?
- What are the brain changes, on a cellular level, that lead to seizure development?
- How effective is surgical treatment for adults and children who experience seizures/epilepsy?
- What causes memory problems associated with seizures? Can these memory problems improve over time and what are the best treatment options for memory loss in people who experience seizures?
- Aside from anti-seizure drugs and some brain lesions, what causes behavioural changes in people who experience seizures? What is the best way to treat behavioral issues?
- What is the efficacy (i.e. the effectiveness of reducing seizures) of adding a second antiseizure medication compared to changing to a different antiseizure medication? How can we determine which combination of anti-seizure drugs are effective?
The following questions were also discussed and put in order of priority at the workshop:
- How do seizures impact the mood of people who experience them and what are the best methods to manage mood swings?
- Are cannabis products (e.g. Marijuana, CBD oil) a safe and effective treatment for seizures alone or in combination with standard treatments (e.g. anti-seizure drugs)?
- Is there a relationship between hormonal changes (e.g. puberty, menopause, pregnancy) and seizure onset and/or frequency, and what are the effects of seizures during pregnancy?
- Is it safe to wean a person who has experienced seizures off of anti-seizure drugs and if so, when is the right time to wean off anti-seizure drugs?
- What are the best ways to support people who experience seizures secure and perform in employment (e.g., through accommodations) and what interventions can reduce workplace discrimination?
- What non-drug lifestyle treatments (e.g., cardiovascular exercise, yoga) are effective for controlling seizure frequency with or without standard treatments (e.g., anti-seizure drugs)?
For full details of all of the questions identified by this PSP, please see the documents below.