Meet our researchers: Professor Ley Sanders and epilepsy

Understanding about epilepsy and how it develops, Professor Ley Sander of UCL Institute of Neurology describes his ‘The Long-Term Prognosis of Epilepsy’ research:

“Epilepsy is a common disorder, the outcome of which, particularly in the long-term, is uncertain. When people have seizures and are diagnosed with epilepsy, they and their families want to know how it is going to affect their lives, what is the risk of further seizures, whether they will become more ill or even if they will die earlier than expected.

In a project that started over 20 years ago, 792 people who were diagnosed with epilepsy or seizures, and 220 with febrile seizures, were registered with a study. We wish now to find out what happened to them. By looking at what happened to so many people over a long time, we can get a better idea of what the chances are of getting another seizure after the initial one, how many more seizures are expected, what impact epilepsy has on their lives and whether people with epilepsy have shorter lives.

This is one of the first times such a large number of people with epilepsy have been followed for such a long period of time. For people with epilepsy, the information gained from this project will help them and their families have a clearer idea of their future.

In particular, this study could provide the treating clinician as well as people with epilepsy and their families with more accurate information about the long-term risk of relapse following seizure remission, the probability of seizure remission after many years of active epilepsy and quantify the risk of premature death over a prolonged follow-up period in people with epilepsy.”

Brain Research Trust fund research into epilepsy and many other neurological conditions. To find out more information of our work, click here.