Epilepsy Research UK, together with the Association of British Neurologists (ABN) and the Stroke Association, are delighted to announce we have jointly awarded a Clinical Research Training Fellowship to Dr Josephine Mayer, based at the world-leading neuroscience research centre at the University of Liverpool.

WHAT WILL THIS FELLOWSHIP INVESTIGATE?

Dr Mayer’s research will explore the link between seizures and cardiovascular health in the ageing population. The project will also establish a patient registry to evaluate markers of poor vascular health, MRI brain imaging data, and review the rate of stroke and heart disease at 12 months.

WHY IS THIS RESEARCH NEEDED?

People who experience onset unprovoked seizures in adulthood are at increased risk of stroke, but it is not known whether this increased risk is due to other untreated factors such as diabetes or high blood pressure, or due to poor cardiovascular health. Dr Mayer said this study will “improve our understanding of the relationship between vascular health and epilepsy. The results will guide future trials in order to improve care and long-term outcomes for these patients.”

Epilepsy Research UK Chief Executive Maxine Smeaton said, “This research has the potential to predict and prevent life-altering cardiovascular events associated with epilepsy in later life, and to shed new light on the mechanisms of epilepsy and its associated conditions.”

THE IMPORTANCE OF COLLABORATION

By partnering with other organisations for projects such as this, we can make a bigger impact for people affected by epilepsy. Collaboration brings expertise from different areas together, it helps to avoid duplicating efforts, and it makes the most of available funds.

Stroke Association Head of Research, Richard Francis, said, “Our partnership will enable this Fellow to focus on an often-ignored area – the relationship between seizures and stroke. We know a lot about many stroke risk factors, such as blood pressure and atrial fibrillation, but we still do not understand the link between epilepsy and stroke. This important research will tell us why people with the onset of seizures in later life can go on to have a stroke. When we know this, we’re one step closer to stopping stroke in these patients.”

Professor Martin Turner, Chair of the ABN’s Research Committee, said, “The pioneering ABN fellowship programme has now funded more than 40 of the brightest early-career neurologists to pursue research to meet the needs of the growing population affected by neurological conditions and sustain the UK’s reputation as a global leader in Clinical Neuroscience. We are delighted to be partnering with Epilepsy Research UK and the Stroke Association to fund Dr Mayer’s work.”

We are delighted to be collaborating with the ABN and Stroke Association to fund this important area of work. Together we will be able to offer increased support and open many more doors for Dr Mayer.
Maxine Smeaton
Epilepsy Research UK Chief Executive

READ MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT HERE