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Europe's first research chair in childhood epilepsy announced

13 May 2003

The creation of Europe's first-ever Research Chair in Childhood Epilepsy has been announced.

The appeal to fund the post was launched two years ago by Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Institute of Child Health (ICH) and the National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy and was supported by HRH The Prince of Wales.

The holder of the Chair - set to be appointed later this year - will lead Europe's largest multi-disciplinary group of clinical scientists devoted to childhood epilepsy. Together their expertise will provide an international centre for research and teaching, improving new treatments and care for children with epilepsy. In particular, the team will focus on the severe physical and mental deterioration that frequently occurs in children who develop complex epilepsy at an early age.

Leading medical expert Professor Brian Neville, Head of Neurosciences at ICH, said:

"Despite epilepsy being the commonest neurological disorder in childhood - affecting 1 in 200 children - it remains profoundly misunderstood, with few multidisciplinary assessment and research units devoted to researching this illness in children. In many cases, those with severe epilepsy are marginalised or suffer potentially preventable disabilities.

"The establishment of the Chair - the first in Europe - is a huge step forward in combining our expertise to advance research and treatment to help prevent the disabilities that can occur through childhood epilepsy."