19-10-09 | Research to treat epilepsy from birth

19 October 2009
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A new £10 million research project in Scotland is to lead worldwide efforts to detect and treat epilepsy from birth.

Some children with the condition suffer severe brain damage before they are diagnosed.

The project hopes to develop tests which can be done as soon as a baby is born.

The research centre, to be based at Edinburgh University, has been made possible by a £1m pledge from the Muir Maxwell Trust. The charity, which works for those affected by paediatric epilepsy, was established by Ann and Jonny Maxwell after their son, Muir, was diagnosed with the condition. Now 12, he needs 24-hour care after a series of seizures damaged his brain. He was six before Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, was diagnosed.

Ann, from Eskbank, believes early diagnosis of children with epilepsy is key to improving their future lives.

"The earlier you can identify these conditions and prevent the first seizure happening, the more likely it is you can stop it evolving and give that child a chance at normal life."

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