Epilepsy is a condition where an individual experiences multiple seizures throughout their lifetime. Seizures occur when the nerve cells in the brain (neurons) – which normally communicate through electrical and chemical signals – undergo a sudden, excessive electrical discharge that disrupts the normal activity of the nerve cells and may result in a loss of consciousness and convulsions*.
As a first line of treatment, people with epilepsy are given anti-seizure medications to control their seizures. Unfortunately, about one-third of patients have seizures that are not controlled with the currently available drugs. This means that about 1 in 300 individuals are living with drug-resistant epilepsy.
Having frequent, uncontrolled seizures can negatively impact an individual’s productivity and quality of life. People with drug-resistant epilepsy cannot drive, are often unemployed or underemployed, and frequently suffer from depression and anxiety. Better therapies are needed for people living with seizures.
At EpLink, we aim to find new therapies to alleviate the medical, mental health, emotional and social issues that may arise from having drug-resistant epilepsy. We are doing so through research to improve diagnosis and seizure prediction; drug, diet and gene therapies; brain stimulation and surgery; and quality of life.
*To learn more about epilepsy and the different seizure types, please visit Epilepsy Ontario’s website. You can also click here to learn about the most up-to-date terms for seizures.