Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute Offering More Than $1 Million in Prize Money for Challenge Winners

Three Prize Challenges Aim to Demystify Seizures, Empower People with Epilepsy, and Prevent SUDEP
Thursday, June 11, 2015

LANDOVER, MD – The Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute will be awarding more than $1 million for a series of at least three prize challenge competitions. The first challenge, worth $15,000, is looking for creative and viral advocacy campaign submissions that inform and educate patients, families, and the health care community and are aimed at a change in behavior that leads to better seizure control and freedom, therefore reducing sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) risk.

The Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute engaged InnoCentive, a global innovation marketplace that crowdsources ideas and solutions to important business, social, policy, scientific, and technical challenges from an international pool of more than 350,000 Solvers. The Epilepsy Foundation will host at least three challenges on the InnoCentive site over the course of a year to find solutions to the key challenges in predicting and preventing SUDEP.

One way to help prevent SUDEP is to reduce a person’s seizures overall. The first challenge seeks to find a solution that encourages people with seizures and epilepsy to seek optimal seizure control and to educate themselves and their families about SUDEP and how they can mitigate its risks.

“Despite the Epilepsy Foundation’s efforts to raise awareness and fight discrimination against people who have seizures and epilepsy, public fear and misperceptions persist,” said Cyndi Wright, director of the SUDEP Institute. “If people with epilepsy and their families are aware of SUDEP and in control of that information, they can take precautions to decrease their risk. That’s why we are hosting the first challenge around an awareness effort — to find an innovative way to reach all patients, families, health care professionals, and the general public, reduce stigma, and provide the tools patients need to seek the best available treatments in order to change and save lives.”

“We are proud to partner with The Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute to reach across a worldwide crowd for help in formulating educational campaigns to help people and their families who sometimes struggle with the challenges of this disease. We have previously had great success in adding to the wisdom of diagnoses, treatment alternatives, and public health campaigns associated with major diseases,” said InnoCentive Chairman and CEO Craig Jones.

The second challenge will focus on developing an intervention to help people with epilepsy comply with treatment plans and decrease the risk of seizures, and the final challenge will be focused on determining the physiological pathways that lead to death and identifying a target for intervention.

Prize amounts for each challenge will range from $15,000 to $1 million; for the first challenge, which began on June 10, 2015, the total available payout is $15,000. To learn more about the challenges and enter the first, click here.

About Epilepsy
When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy. Epilepsy affects nearly 3 million people in the U.S. and 65 million worldwide. This year, another 150,000 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy. Despite all available treatments, four out of 10 people with epilepsy continue to experience uncontrolled seizures while many more experience less than optimal seizure control.

Each year, more than 1 out of 1,000 people with epilepsy die from SUDEP. If seizures are uncontrolled, the risk of SUDEP increases to more than 1 out of 150. Although rare in children, SUDEP is the leading cause of death in young adults with uncontrolled seizures. The causes of SUDEP are unknown, but by having as few convulsive or tonic-clonic seizures as possible, a person can reduce his or her risk of SUDEP. Learn more at epilepsy.com/sudep.

About the Epilepsy Foundation
The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with nearly 50 affiliated organizations throughout the United States, has led the fight against seizures since 1968. The Foundation is an unwavering ally for individuals and families impacted by epilepsy and seizures. The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to stop seizures and SUDEP, find a cure, and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through efforts including education, advocacy, and research to accelerate ideas into therapies. The Foundation works to ensure that people with seizures have the opportunity to live their lives to their fullest potential. For additional information, please visit www.epilepsy.com.

“Like” the Epilepsy Foundation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/epilepsyfoundationofamerica and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/epilepsyfdn.

About the SUDEP Institute
The SUDEP Institute is an initiative led by the Epilepsy Foundation that carries out SUDEP education and awareness programs for people affected by epilepsy and medical professionals; drives and supports research into the causes of and ways to prevent SUDEP; offers a support network providing counseling, community, and resources for individuals and families affected by SUDEP; and works together with many epilepsy organizations to find the answers to SUDEP. 

About InnoCentive, Inc.
InnoCentive crowdsources innovation solutions from the world’s smartest people, who compete to provide ideas and solutions to important business, social, policy, and scientific challenges. Our global network of millions of problem solvers, proven challenge methodology, and cloud-based innovation management platform, help our clients transform their economics of innovation through rapid solution delivery and the development of sustainable open innovation programs. For over a decade, organizations such as Astra Zeneca, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cleveland Clinic, Eli Lilly & Company, NASA, Procter & Gamble, Thomson Reuters, and several government agencies in the U.S. and Europe have partnered with InnoCentive. Learn more at www.innocentive.com

Contact Name: 
Kirsten Withrow | Manager of Program Communications and Media Relations
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(301) 918-3743
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Our Mission

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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