Research & Impact Report 2023

I am delighted to present our annual research report for the period July 2022 to June 2023 for the paediatric epilepsy research unit across Young Epilepsy, UCL GOS - Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.
Professor Helen Cross OBE, The Prince of Wales's Chair of Childhood Epilepsy

Over the past year the research programme has continued to grow conducting 45 active projects, with 5 new projects initiated. These projects focused on a vast array of topics, including a randomised controlled trial of hypothermia as a treatment for newborns with Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE), a retrospective investigation of how strongly seizure generating parts of the brain are connected to other healthy parts of the brain and the development of guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and management of PNPO deficiency. Excitingly, we have also completed 7 projects including an investigation of physical activity in childhood epilepsy, the construction of the new Epilepsy Diagnostic Suite centered around the installation and evaluation of the OPM-MEG technology and a randomised controlled trial of the ketogenic diet for treating drug resistant epilepsy in infants. 

Once again, the diversity of our research portfolio serves to demonstrate our commitment to encouraging work in all areas of epilepsy research. Whilst we continue to conduct research into understanding and treating epilepsy, we recognise the importance of providing outstanding support through educational, psychosocial, and service-based research. For those of you who are interested, there is a link on page seven where you can find out more detail on any of the 45 research projects summarised in this report. 

Reflective of the ongoing work conducted as part of the research programme, this year has seen the publication of 57 peer-reviewed items of primary research, as well as 36 reviews and commentaries of expert opinion and 2 chapters in books. The impact of these publications has been particularly impressive with 6 publications in the top 5% of all research papers published. 

In January 2023 we hosted the 13th international Paediatric Epilepsy Research Retreat, moderated by Professor Jo Wilmhurst. The Retreat is a one-of-a-kind event where early career and seasoned researchers meet to constructively share their research and forge new collaborations. For the first time in two years, we were able to return to an in-person format and the event was a huge success with 128 attendees over the two days. The schedule was packed with a range of high-quality presentations, and all attendees agreed it was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the work conducted as part of the unit. We also hosted a range of other events over the year to further publicise our ongoing research, including a Joint Research Event with Epilepsy Research UK in May 2023. It was here that the Epilepsy Research Institute was announced. The Epilepsy Research Institute will be pivotal in developing the UK epilepsy research ecosystem and Young Epilepsy are thrilled to be a founding member. 

Young Epilepsy’s vision is to create a society where children and young people with epilepsy are enabled to thrive and fulfil their potential. A society in which their voices are respected, and their ambitions realised. Our research programme exists to establish successively better outcomes by driving early diagnosis and intervention in every aspect of childhood epilepsy, and