Research

Current Epilepsy Research

Epilepsy research and clinical trials are being conducted by many different organisations on a wide range of topics specific to epilepsy.

Click here (PDF 70kb) to see the list of clinical trials underway at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

 

Australian Pregnancy Register

The Australian Pregnancy Register (APR) is an independent project that has been running for over 18 years nationally. We are an observational register and collect information about pregnant women with epilepsy, treated and untreated, to determine which AEDs are safest for the baby while protecting the mother from seizures.

As a result of this study we are getting closer to defining safer treatment choices.

The Register would benefit from a boost to the number of women participating in the study, as well as increasing the length of the study to ensure enough evidence is collected for the findings to become treatment guidelines.

This is a voluntary, nationwide study that is enrolling women who are currently pregnant or who have given birth recently (infants up to 12 months of age) in the following categories:

  • Women with epilepsy taking anti-epileptic medication (AEDs)
  • Women with epilepsy not taking AEDs
  • Women taking AEDs for other conditions

The aims of this project are:

  • To evaluate the incidence of adverse foetal outcomes resulting from pregnancies exposed to anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs)
  • To determine if certain AEDs or combinations are associated with a higher incidence or specific types of adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • To determine the influence of the seizures, the epilepsy type, the genetic background, and environmental factors
  • To study the comparative efficacy of AEDs on seizure protection in pregnancy, assessed on the basis of self reporting and increased dose or additional drug requirements

How to enroll:

Potentially eligible women can enroll by:

  1. Calling: 1800 069 722
  2. Emailing: apr@mh.org.au
  3. On line: apr.org.au by clicking on the “Register Now” button

Alternatively a doctor or health professional can contact the Register directly.

Next steps:

  • Dedicated research nurses determine eligibility, establish contact details.
  • Information and consent form for enrolment are sent.
  • Eligible participant signs and returns consent form (stamped self-addressed envelope provided).
  • Telephone contact to confirm returned consent and organise time for interview.
  • Return by post/email a copy of the completed consent.

There are no appointments or visits for this study, all information is gathered by way of four telephone interviews (or a combination of calls depending on point of enrolment) at the following time points:

  1. On enrolment
  2. 7 months gestation
  3. 4-8 weeks post-delivery
  4. 1 year post-delivery

During the interviews, women have the opportunity to ask any questions relevant to the pregnancy and birth, their epilepsy and their anti-epileptic medication.

Click here (PDF 1mb) to download the Australian Pregnancy Register brochure.  The pregnancy register also has a Facebook page.