Based on the patient data generated through this research, doctors can now make better predictions of cognitive outcomes for children following surgery. These results have also helped make the case for earlier detection and surgical treatment in children for whom surgery is an option, as well as providing an important benchmark for the evaluation of non-invasive neuroimaging methods.
This research has been vital for the field of paediatric epilepsy surgery. We are immensely grateful for Epilepsy Research UK and its supporters who without, this research would not have been possible.
Building on the results of our Epilepsy Research UK project, we are currently conducting a 20-year review and follow up with over 1,000 children who underwent surgery for their epilepsy at Great Ormond Street Hospital since 2000. Next, we are planning an even larger study to chart patients health and educational trajectory (after they left hospital care) during adulthood. The aim is to better predict who will benefit from neurosurgery in terms of seizure freedom and to establish the longer-term impact of epilepsy surgery on educational development. A major international multi-centre effort is also directed at improving presurgical neuroimaging diagnostics, using the application of artificial intelligence (AI), to help doctors detect hidden brain abnormalities that give rise to seizures.
Earlier in the month, we shared a Research Blog from Rachel who is one of many young people who, thanks to this ground-breaking research, is now seizure-free and has achieved a life free from epilepsy. You can read her story here.