Professor David Henshall, FutureNeuro Director and co-ordinator of EpimiRNA, has joined forces with six other large EU-funded projects  to organise epiXchange 2018, which brings together Europe’s best brains to pave the way for future epilepsy research.

Around 50 million people worldwide suffer from epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases. To decrease this figure and pave the way for future ground-breaking epilepsy research, seven large EU-funded projects have joined forces. epiXchange 2018 is a unique global community building event, designed to gather a critical mass of epilepsy researchers to exchange about latest progress in research aiming to improve the way epilepsy is diagnosed and treated and thereby increase the quality of life of affected people. Six of these projects were funded through the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) which provided total funding of EUR 52 million. Despite a great progress in the management of epilepsy, 30-40% of epilepsy patients are refractory to all available medications. Moreover, about 50% of children with epilepsy suffer from epilepsy-related comorbidities, including developmental delay, learning disabilities, and autism spectrum disorder.

“Diagnosis of epilepsy is really difficult, seizures are the main clinical symptom for the disease but it is very rare that a doctor will witness the patient having a seizure.”

The epiXchange 2018 scientific conference focuses on five major themes in epilepsy research:

Genetics: Development of novel treatment strategies based on optogenetics, gene and stem cell
Therapeutics: Development of effective epileptogenic therapeutics, many of which face different kinds of
bottlenecks e.g. regulatory hurdles.
Biomarkers: Identification of new biomarkers in blood, peripheral organs, brain tissue, electrophysical
data, behavioural data and imaging data, in order to develop novel preventive strategies in at-risk
Biobanks and databases: Integration of Biobanks and databases into clinical care to facilitate preclinical
research. A collaborative approach as foundation for the future of epilepsy research and other disease
model biobanks.
Co-morbidities: Exploration of the mechanisms underlying bi-directional relations between epilepsy and
neurological co-morbidities to reduce the high burden of co-morbidities in epilepsy.

epiXchange 2018 is open for scientists, EC representatives, industries and other stakeholders from the
epilepsy community as well as the press.

epiXchange 2018 key data

Organisers: DESIRE, EpimiRNA, EPISTOP and EpiTarget; Scientific contributions by EpiCare, EpiPGX
and Epixchange
Venue: THE EGG, Brussels
Date: May 23, 2018

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