14 Oct 2020

New era of personalised epilepsy management

"Epilepsy in a dish" model. Fig.2 from the article
The British Medicine Journal (BMJ) has launched a series of articles profiling brain health. In their words,  "what it is, why it is important, and how we can better prevent and treat brain disorders to improve health across the world, especially as populations become older."

Professor Patrick Kwan and colleagues contribute to the series with their article, "New era of personalised epilepsy management". They write, "The trial and error approach to epilepsy treatment has not changed for over a century but machine learning and patient-derived stem cells promise a personalised and more effective strategy."

Epilepsy is broad-reaching. The authors write that it "affects 50 million people worldwide with no age, ethnic, or geographical boundary. Patients have recurrent seizures that can lead to injuries, cognitive decline, psychosocial dysfunction, and even death. Epilepsy is caused by brain insults such as trauma, stroke, tumour, inflammation, and infection as well as systemic changes resulting from genomic variation. Patients with epilepsy have increased comorbidities, including cerebrovascular, neurocognitive, and psychiatric diseases. Better epilepsy control will therefore improve overall brain health."

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