A word picture with UK Epilepsy PSP highlighted in its centre


In October 2020, Epilepsy Research UK released a report highlighting the alarming inequalities in research funding for one of the most prevalent, serious neurological conditions. The stark figures in the #ALifeInterrupted – Shaping the Future of Research into Epilepsy report demonstrate that epilepsy research funding is disproportionately less than other neurological conditions.

In 2018 the government invested:

  • £82.5 million in research into dementia (patient population 850,000)
  • £34 million in research into Parkinson’s disease (patient population 145,000)
  • £12.8 million in research into epilepsy (patient population 600,000)

This means that:

  • £234 was invested per person with Parkinson’s disease
  • £97 was invested per person with dementia
  • Only £21 was invested per person with epilepsy

Epilepsy costs the NHS £1.5 billion a year, and there are a staggering 100,000 emergency admissions due to epilepsy each year. Research into epilepsy receives only 7% of neurological research funding and just 0.3% of the £4.8 billion total spent on health-related research in the UK.

At a time when the need to make savings is paramount, there is a compelling case to invest more in research into epilepsy: the return on investment could lead to substantial cost-savings to the NHS and will make an enormous difference to those affected.

Around 1 in every 100 people are living with a diagnosis of epilepsy, but as we know, it doesn’t stop there: epilepsy also impacts the lives of families, friends and carers of the people living with the condition.

We need your help! We need your voice!

If we want to drive more investment in research into epilepsy, we must do as other health conditions have done, and provide clearly evidenced priorities and a focus that will affect change. Your priorities will enable us to:

  • Carry out research that matters most to people affected by epilepsy
  • Fund research based on evidenced priorities
  • Drive collaborations with associated condition charities
  • Generate the evidence needed to influence government and institutional funders to give us our fair share

It is time for change. The inequalities in research funding of epilepsy have meant progress has been slow. If we don’t act now, innovations in the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy will continue to lag behind. And that is why this is the most important survey you’ll ever complete.




Please contact Anna, Research & Involvement Officer, at to request any of the following:

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  • To speak to a member of the Epilepsy Research UK team about the UK Epilepsy PSP