Transformative Research Priorities for the Epilepsies

Autoimmune, Immune and Infectious Causes

Why would this research priority transform epilepsy research, our understanding of the epilepsies, and/or treatment of the epilepsies? :

The American Epilepsy Society views this topic as a high priority that should encompass strategy to incorporate the expertise from experts in immunology and neuroimmunology. Some revisions would help to ensure its transformative nature.

This focus should be on epilepsy alone, as the co-morbidities add a level of complexity that may make progress slow.

With genetic and epigenetic mechanisms represented strongly in other stated priorities, this priority might instead hone-in on autoimmune, immune, and infectious causes of the epilepsies. The term "immune" should be included. In developing countries, infectious etiologies for epilepsy remain a major public health challenge. There is growing and compelling evidence that autoimmune mechanisms may contribute to epileptogenesis by mechanisms in sporadic seizures or status epilepticus (e.g., NORSE) beyond the clinically well-defined auto-antibody associated encephalopathies.

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Idea No. 127