Medical research offers the best opportunity to learn, transform and improve the lives of the over 250,000 Australians affected by epilepsy.
Even though epilepsy affects more people than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s combined, it is one of the most underfunded and under-researched conditions in this country and across the world. We need your help to change this dire situation and support us in investing in further vital research into diagnosing, treating and ultimately curing epilepsy.
Epilepsy Action Australia is seeking to expand the number of research projects it supports in collaboration with world-leading medical and academic institutions. We are committed to supporting significant, innovative research projects that show promising beneficial results for people with epilepsy.
In addition, Epilepsy Action Australia will continue to develop evidence-based services that target identified needs of those with epilepsy; and articulate to funding providers, such as government and corporations, tangible outcomes, particularly those of national importance.
But we can’t do any of this without your help!
Please help us invest in research that will have a life-impacting change for people with epilepsy by becoming a Research Advocate today
Improve Lives: Become a Research Advocate
By providing a regular monthly donation, our valued Research Advocates truly make a difference to people with epilepsy. All donations are invested directly in support of research projects and initiatives that will ultimately help people with epilepsy live better lives.
Without the vital assistance of our very special Research Advocates we would not be able to continue our collaborative work into such important areas as medicinal cannabis trials to help control seizures in children, wearable technologies and medication use in pregnancy (see story below).
The benefits of new knowledge created by this research will make the future so much brighter for people affected by epilepsy.
Ensuring the safety of pregnant women
Epilepsy Action Australia has become a major partner and supporter of the Australian Pregnancy Register for women taking antiepileptic medications. The Australian Pregnancy Register (APR) is an independent project that has been running for over 16 years nationally. They are an observational register and collect information about pregnant women with epilepsy, treated and untreated, to determine which antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are safest for the baby while protecting the mother from seizures.
Through our involvement, we have been able to raise awareness of the register, drive recruitment and participate in supportive projects.
This register is designed to bridge a current knowledge gap about AEDs and has already identified specific medications that may lead to malformation in unborn babies. This has consequently resulted in a change in prescribing practices and a reduced rate of malformations.
The APR has published its significant findings, which include:
- over 95 percent of pregnant women with epilepsy deliver a healthy baby, even under medical treatment
- if a woman is seizure-free for at least 12 months prior to pregnancy, her chance of having a seizure during the pregnancy and delivery is significantly reduced
- avoid sodium valproate (Epilim) if equally effective AEDs are available
- sodium valproate (Epilim) in doses above 800mg per day is associated with a greater risk of foetal abnormality than other AEDs, however, sodium valproate in lower doses may be more effective in preventing seizures in some forms of epilepsy.
Epilepsy Action Australia is proud to be involved in such crucial medical research that benefits women with epilepsy in Australia and around the world. It provides new information that helps mothers make important decisions about managing their epilepsy during pregnancy, leading to better outcomes for both mother and baby.
Help Epilepsy Action invest in other research that like the Australian Pregnancy Research will significantly impact and optimise the lives of people living with epilepsy. Become a Research Advocate today!
“As a partner of the Australian Pregnancy Register, Epilepsy Action Australia has helped determine which medications and dosages affect babies leading to changed prescribing practices and less birth defects.”