MSFHR, BC Epilepsy Society partner for better treatments

9 November 2011

More than 50 million people worldwide suffer from epilepsy, including 40,000 British Columbians. A significant number of these individuals may have negative side-effects due to medication, and roughly 30 per cent do not respond to treatment at all, highlighting the need for further research.

Since 2005, MSFHR and the BC Epilepsy Society have partnered to support leading-edge epilepsy research in British Columbia. In 2006, the two organizations funded Dr. Veronica Schiariti to lead the first BC-focused study of epilepsy prevalence in children. The partnership subsequently supported the work of researchers Kirk Mulatz and Dr. Jun Liu.

For the 2010-2011 Research Trainee funding competition, the BC Epilepsy Society fully funded an award for UBC researcher Dr. Stuart Cain. Dr. Cain’s work is focused on developing a genetic model of absence seizures to better understand their causes. The ultimate aim of this research is to facilitate the design of new drug treatments capable of blocking changes in the firing properties of epileptic nerves during seizures.

“By partnering with MSFHR, we have been able to support some of BC’s best and brightest researchers to undertake projects with the potential to improve the health and quality of life for all individuals living with epilepsy,” said Shawn Laari, Executive Director of the BC Epilepsy Society.