Newcastle University study will look at the link between brain injury and epilepsy

A scientific research team at Newcastle University will assess the link between brain injury and epilepsy, after receiving a grant for £147,000 from Epilepsy Research UK.

It is widely known that an individual is at a high risk of developing epilepsy following damage to their brain, which can be caused by incidents such as head traumas, strokes, and a number of infections.

However, the researchers are aiming to discover why some people go on to develop epilepsy, following an event that causes brain damage, while others do not.

The project is expected to last for two years and is being led by Dr Andrew Trevelyan from the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University.

Thrilled that the charity has backed his team’s epilepsy research plans, Dr Trevelyan said he eventually wants to be able to successfully develop “the equivalent of the ‘morning after’ pill”, which would be given to those that have suffered brain damage in order to prevent them from developing the condition.

Their findings could lead to important new information for the medical community and ultimately help to stop people developing epilepsy.

Dr Trevelyan said: “We want to understand how epilepsy might develop after an injury to the brain.

“This is a huge clinical problem because following such injuries, which include head trauma, strokes and some kinds of infection, there is a high risk of developing epilepsy.

“But we cannot identify which people are at most risk, and even we could do so, we have no drugs to help them.”