Epilepsy Research and COVID-19

Jackie French's photo with the world INNOVATOR

Epilepsy News From:

Monday, June 8, 2020

Dr. Jacqueline French is the chief innovation and medical officer at the Epilepsy Foundation.

Probably many of you have heard on the news that there are a lot of clinical trials in progress to treat coronavirus and COVID-19. Most big medical institutions have pivoted their research endeavors (both in the laboratory and in the clinic) to focus on COVID-19, our current biggest threat. It might seem that research in other areas has stopped. However, despite all this new activity, epilepsy research has not stopped.

Research Continues

For example, most of the volunteers who already enrolled in epilepsy clinical trials before the COVID disruption were able to continue through video and telephone visits with clinical researchers. Just as people with epilepsy have been discouraged from physically visiting the clinic, in-person clinical research visits have also halted, due to the risk of coronavirus contamination at hospitals. These visits are also being restricted due to the fact that in some locations doctors have to help out in hospitals with overwhelming number of patients with COVID-19.

Opening Back Up

Starting in May, many hospitals stabilized and started to re-open their clinics. They are doing this very carefully, making sure that the environment is extremely safe. It is very likely that this will allow centers to begin recruiting new patients into clinical trials once again.  

Also, while academic research labs have been shut down all over the world for the last few months, they are starting to ramp up again, and will probably be in full swing by mid-summer. Many safeguards have been put into place to ensure that the researchers have a safe environment to work in.

In the meantime, these researchers have used this time to evaluate and publish their data, contemplate new ideas, and innovate new strategies to move forward. Several new potential therapies have started the path towards the clinic and will probably be entering into trials shortly.  

There are many reasons to feel extremely hopeful about the future of new therapies for epilepsy.
Authored by: Jacqueline French MD on 6/2020
Reviewed by: Epilepsy Foundation Research on 6/2020
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During these times, the Epilepsy Foundation continues to work to make a difference in our community. We are always here for you in the fight to #EndEpilepsy.

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The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

 
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