Top 10 priorities

  1. What are the causes and contributing factors of epilepsy-related deaths, including Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), and how can these deaths be prevented?
  2. What underlying mechanisms cause epilepsy in children and in adults?
  3. What impact do epilepsy, seizures and anti-seizure medication (ASMs) have on brain health - including cognition, memory, learning, behaviour and mental health?
  4. How does epilepsy and epilepsy treatment impact neurodevelopment, and can this be managed or prevented?
  5. How can targeted, personalised medicine, such as gene therapy, be used to treat and/or prevent epilepsy?
  6. How can tools, devices and biological markers be used to accurately predict and prevent seizures and the onset of epilepsy?
  7. How do hormonal changes in women throughout the lifespan (e.g. puberty, pregnancy, menopause) impact epilepsy, and how can this impact be addressed?
  8. How can quality of life be improved for people with epilepsy, their families and carers, including those bereaved by epilepsy?
  9. What causes drug-resistant (refractory) epilepsy, and how can it be best treated?
  10. How can big data analysis, through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, aid the diagnosis and management of epilepsy?

The following questions were also discussed and put in order of priority at the workshop:

  1. How can existing anti-seizure medicines (ASMs) or emerging therapies (e.g. cannabinoid-based therapies, m-TOR inhibitors, etc.) be improved (e.g. to be more effective or have fewer side effects), and how can new ASMs be developed?
  2. What is the relationship between sleep, epilepsy and nocturnal seizures?
  3. How can we advance epilepsy surgery to improve outcomes?
  4. How can collaboration within health care sectors (e.g. general practice, epilepsy specialist care, psychiatry, pregnancy/maternity care) be improved to advance the management of epilepsy?
  5. How can people with epilepsy achieve long-term seizure control, including minimising the risk of breakthrough seizures in people with well-controlled epilepsy?
  6. What are the genetic causes/markers of epilepsy, and how can genetic screening be used to diagnose or predict the onset of epilepsy? Could this testing be used prior to the first seizure?
  7. How could national epilepsy patient registries be used to optimise management, treatments and future research into epilepsy?
  8. What are the causes and contributing factors that trigger seizures in people with epilepsy, and how do these differ among the epilepsies?
  9. How can non-drug lifestyle factors (such as physical activity, weight management and dietary changes) help people manage their epilepsy?
  10. What is the relationship between ageing and epilepsy, and conditions frequently associated with ageing such as dementia?
  11. What are the best forms of psychological interventions for children and young people with epilepsy?
  12. What impact does a lack of understanding about epilepsy within the health service have on people with epilepsy?
  13. What is the relationship between diet, gut health and epilepsy, and can this relationship be used to improve epilepsy management?
  14. What causes absence seizures, and how can they be prevented?
  15. How does stress cause epilepsy and/or seizures? How can this be best managed?