SUDEP Challenge Initiative
Why We Need to Act Now
- More than 3.4 million people in the U.S. and 65 million people worldwide have epilepsy, a neurological condition that affects the nervous system and causes seizures.
- One in 26 people in the U.S. will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime, with 150,000 new cases annually.
- Among those living with epilepsy, nearly one-third have ongoing seizures despite existing therapies.
- Each year, more than 1 out of 1,000 people with epilepsy die from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).
- If seizures are uncontrolled, the risk of SUDEP increases to more than 1 out of 150.
- SUDEP is the leading cause of death in young adults with uncontrolled seizures.
SUDEP Challenge Offers more than $1 Million in Prize Money for Challenge Winners
One way the Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute is meeting these needs is with a series of four multidisciplinary prize challenges.
- The first challenge sought creative and viral advocacy campaign(s) to inform and educate people with epilepsy, families, and the health care community about SUDEP.
- The second challenge asked solvers to develop an intervention to help people with epilepsy comply with treatment plans and decrease their risk of seizures.
- In the third challenge, solvers proposed a predictive biomarker or panel of biomarkers to identify people at risk for SUDEP.
Join the Fourth Challenge Now
Identifying biomarkers to predict SUDEP represents a major unmet medical need. Although there are several theories about the causes of SUDEP, who is at risk of dying from epilepsy and how to prevent it remains a mystery.
There are few interventions that reliably predict and prevent SUDEP in people with epilepsy. Therefore, the Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute desires the development of clinically relevant, specific, and sensitive biomarkers of SUDEP and near-SUDEP to facilitate the development of a therapeutic intervention for people at high risk for SUDEP or life threatening seizures.
Milestone 1 of the fourth and final challenge required a detailed project plan for the proposed solution for finding a predictive biomarker or panel of biomarkers to identify people at risk for SUDEP or seizures that compromise cardiac or respiratory function. Learn more about this milestone and the winners.
The Fourth Challenge has ONE remaining milestone:
- Milestone 3 requires results that demonstrate the predictive efficacy of the biomarker(s). Milestone 3 is a race to the finish and submissions will be accepted between October 17, 2017, and October 10, 2020. Submissions will be reviewed as they are received, and, at the discretion of the SUDEP Institute, the first submission that meets all challenge criteria will be awarded the prize. The SUDEP Institute intends to make a final award of at least $800,000 for successful completion of Milestone 3.
Solvers can register and join the Fourth Challenge at any time! Participation in the previous milestones is not required.
Challenges 1, 2, and 3
With the help of our partners at InnoCentive, all of the challenges allow us to take advantage of interdisciplinary approaches and alternative perspectives. Through combining and contrasting ideas, the best and most valuable solutions will be identified and financially supported.
Challenge 1: Empowering People with Epilepsy
Challenge 2: Preventing Epilepsy Seizures
Challenge 3: Predictive Biomarkers of Epilepsy Seizures
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