The Importance of Epilepsy Research
Considering how epilepsy cripples and affects the quality of life of any patient, the field of epilepsy research is a hotbed for medical discoveries that promises to turn the lives of patients around. Today, significant money is being put into studying epilepsy and documenting the results in order to advance the understanding and subsequent treatment of epilepsy cases.
Epilepsy research entails the following important facets:
· Documenting the potential causes. In almost half of epilepsy cases, doctors are not able to locate a physical manifestation which can incite cause. There are no apparent structural abnormalities that could lead to seizures. In these cases, doctors look to other potential causes such as genetic or environmental factors to help explain the significant portion of the epilepsy demographic that have no apparent physical cause to which the case can be attributed.
· Diagnostics. An important facet of epilepsy research is in diagnostics or being able to identify the problem as quickly as possible. There are two interesting areas of merit here. The first is creating case histories that can help exhaustively document the lifestyle of a patient leading to the manifestation or onset. The second is neuro-imaging or being able to look at brain structures in more detail via sophisticated technology that dives deep into the brain to elucidate even micro-damages that could result to seizures.
· The third and perhaps most important facet of epilepsy research has to do with the development of new drugs to help manage seizures. Today, many hospitals and research organizations are partnering with pharmaceutical companies to develop more effective drugs to ensure that seizures are kept under control. This is important because it helps to restore the quality of life to patients suffering from epilepsy.
To advance the field of epilepsy research, hospitals and doctors require the help of patients to enlist in clinical trials designed to help explore the effects of new diagnostic and treatment techniques to diseases of various severity and complexity. In this regard, patients will be asked to participate in experimental drug trials or diagnostic brain scans to help understand the disease further.
As a final note on epilepsy research, the development of advanced methods in genetic sequencing and research is pushing epilepsy science into an exciting era. Today, doctors have many tools at their disposal that were not available 10 years ago. These tools can help determine many of the mechanisms that drive epilepsy in the absence of obvious structural abnormalities in the brain. Many are optimistic that in a few years, doctors willhave gained a better understanding of the potential causes of epilepsy which can in turn help drive the development treatment options.
Epilepsy research organizations are asking everyone to do what they can to contribute to the advancement of epilepsy research. By pitching in a small pledge or having a loved one with epilepsy volunteer for clinical studies, the world is collectively arming itself for the fight against epilepsy and all its accompanying effects.