Medical research offers the best opportunity to learn, transform and improve the lives of the over 250,000 Australians affected by epilepsy. Even though so many people have the condition, 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 (e.g. government, corporations) tangible outcomes, particularly those of national importance.
But we can’t do any of this without your help!
Improve Lives: Become a Research Advocate
By providing a regular monthly donation, our valued Research Advocates truly make a difference to those individuals with epilepsy. All donations are invested directly in support of research projects and initiatives that will ultimately help those 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
One of the research areas, Epilepsy Action Australia is focused on is the long-term effects of the drugs used to help manage seizures, especially those new to the market. As such we have become a major partner and supporter of The Australian Pregnancy Register, an independent research project and international study into the long-term effects and safety of anti-epileptic drugs (AED) on the mother and child during and after pregnancy.
Through our involvement, we have been able to raise awareness of the register, drive recruitment and participate in ancillary research projects.
This register is designed to bridge a current knowledge gap about AEDs and has already identified particular medications and their dosages that lead to malformation in unborn babies. This has resulted in a change in prescribing practices and a reduced rate of malformations.
The APR has information on over 1100 pregnancies and some of its significant findings include:
- over 95 per cent 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 remaining seizure-free during the pregnancy and delivery is significantly reduced
- sodium valproate in doses above 1100mg per day is associated with a greater risk of foetal abnormality than other antiepileptic drugs, however, sodium valproate in lower doses is more effective in preventing seizures, especially in primary generalised epilepsy.
Epilepsy Action Australia is proud to be involved in such crucial medical research that is benefitting 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 themselves and their babies.
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.”