Unimelb Epilepsy Center Without Walls Research Push

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Unimelb Epilepsy Centre Without Walls

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday 31 January 2017

Unimelb to join Epilepsy Centre Without Walls in $28m global research push

People with epilepsy acquired following brain trauma are the focus of a new $28 million global push for a long-awaited research breakthrough to develop treatments that for the first time could prevent or mitigate this disabling and potentially life-threatening condition.

The University of Melbourne, in partnership with the Royal Melbourne Hospital, is the only Australian institution to take part in the project, funded by one of the largest grants to date awarded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research into the elusive condition.

Some 250,000 Australians suffer from epilepsy, the causes of which range from tumours to infections, genetics, haemorrhages or stroke, in addition to brain trauma.

Principal Investigator, neurologist Terry O’Brien said epilepsy caused by traumatic brain injury, the major cause of epilepsy in people aged 15-24, is harder to predict and control than many other forms of epilepsy.

“Up to 20 per cent of people who’ve had a traumatic brain injury will develop epilepsy, yet researchers know very little about why, and have no way to prevent or mitigate it,” Professor O’Brien said.

“It’s the nasty sting in the tail for people who’ve got through a difficult rehabilitation, only to be hit by their first seizure just when they think they’re on the mend – anywhere from six months to two years after they were first injured.

“More than a third of these patients’ seizures can’t be controlled by drugs.”

Professor O’Brien – who is the James Stewart Chair of Medicine and Head of The Department of Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital) at The University of Melbourne – said the key to Melbourne’s appeal to be invited to be part of this international research collaboration was its location in the Parkville Precinct.

“Being in the Parkville Precinct will enable clinicians and researchers from disciplines such as neuroscience, electrophysiology, imaging, bioinformatics and molecular biology to work very closely together, at the Melbourne Brain Centre and the Royal Melbourne Trauma Centre and ICU.”

The project, one of three NIH Epilepsy Centres without Walls, will be led by researchers at five institutions — the University of Melbourne, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, and the University of Eastern Finland.

More information/media enquiries:
Project website: http://epibios.loni.usc.edu/
Elisabeth Lopez (Media Advisor) | 0466 322 872 | elopez@unimelb.edu.au

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Comments (5)

  1. by Kim Fraser on

    I would love to be involved as I have epilepsy which I’m struggling to control I woke up in hospital last month again.I want to be rid of this as I am a single mother of four this is very very difficult for them watching me have four to five seizure’s and also have stopped breathing a number of times. This takes day’s to get over.

    1. by Kim Fraser on

      Iwant to be involved in trials. Thanks to the TV commercial I wouldn’t have done this.

    2. by Juliette Parker on

      Hi Kim
      Thanks for your comments. If you’d like to be involved with the trial or gain further information please contact Elisabeth Lopez (Media Advisor) on 0466 322 872 or by email elopez@unimelb.edu.au.

      For any support or further information about epilepsy please call our Infoline on 1300 761 487.

  2. by Vanessa chang on

    I Suffered from and care for lighters from 4 January and woke up in hospital two months later I had a seizure four days ago and have just been reading your website if you are still excepting people for this trial I would like to be contacted.

    1. by Juliette Parker on

      Hi Vanessa

      Thanks for your comments. If you’d like to be involved with the trial or gain further information please contact Elisabeth Lopez (Media Advisor) on 0466 322 872 or by email elopez@unimelb.edu.au.

      For any support or further information about epilepsy please call our Infoline on 1300 761 487.

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