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A message from Maxine Smeaton, Epilepsy Research UK CEO:

It’s hard to believe it’s a year since we launched the #ALifeInterrupted report and campaign. The response has been incredible. So many people told us how shocked they were at the inequalities in epilepsy research funding, and others shared very personal stories about how their lives have been interrupted by epilepsy.

In the #ALifeInterrupted report, we outlined how we planned to take action. Whilst it would be easy to grab the headlines by championing a single issue, in truth, it takes a strategic, systematic and long-term approach to make a tangible difference. Our efforts are focused on building the capacity of the entire epilepsy research community, across all four nations and across all research disciplines. We are doing everything we can to recruit, retain and fast-track the brightest minds in epilepsy research.

In this issue, we also discuss some of the other capacity-building activities we have set in motion, including the development of the Shape Network and our work to fund and lead on a James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership. As part of this programme, we have invited key epilepsy charities, clinicians from across the country, and people affected by epilepsy to join our steering group to ensure everyone’s voice is heard and valued equally.

This portfolio of work will provide the evidence we need to drive more funding into epilepsy research, whether that is through our own grant round, or by influencing institutional funders and government.

Of course, we can only do this with your help. Your donations could contribute to funding the next PhD student in an Epilepsy Research UK Doctoral Training Centre and set them on their journey to a lifelong commitment to researching epilepsy. With the chronic underfunding of epilepsy research, we need to secure the best clinicians and scientists who will provide help for today and hope for tomorrow.

However much you are able to give, your contribution has the potential to STOP epilepsy interrupting lives. Thank you.

Maxine Smeaton 
CEO, Epilepsy Research UK

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We hope you enjoy the Autumn edition of our Focus newsletter – here’s a preview of what’s in this issue…

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