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The Importance of Epilepsy Research with Zachary Quinto & Steven Schachter, M.D.

Research into the causes, treatments, and cures for epilepsy is always ongoing. It looks for long-term cures and solves problems that the more than 3 million who live with epilepsy and their families experience right now. The Epilepsy Foundation has been a major funder of epilepsy and seizure research since the organization was founded more than 50 years ago. A number of new therapies are available today due to timely funding and research support from the Epilepsy Foundation. Overall, the amount of money spent on epilepsy research is very small compared to what is spent on conditions that happen less often. That’s one of the reasons we all need to talk about epilepsy and seizures. We need to help raise awareness of the need for ongoing investment in research, especially from government and private philanthropists.

Zachary Quinto: Top doctors and scientists are working everyday to find better treatments for people with epilepsy, and to find a cure.

Steven Schachter, MD (Harvard Medical School)

Greg Grunberg: I want to talk about Research.

Steven Schachter, MD: Epilepsy research takes a village. We need everyone involved, from people with seizures, family, to the government to fund the work, to foundations like the Epilepsy Foundation, and make this a global effort. Because, although one person to the next might have differences, it's the richness of those differences that can inform us on what we need to focus on. 

Greg: So the Epilepsy Foundation has been instrumental in research and in funding grants. Just give us a brief history of that, and really, how integral the foundation is to the future of research.

Steven: Sure. Much of the focus of the Epilepsy Foundation Research Program has been to move products, devices, diagnostics forward that can get to help patients and families, in a relatively short period of time.  And what we're happy to say is that nearly 50% of all the new products in development for epilepsy, were supported, often at the very early stage by the Epilepsy Foundation. And that credibility that the funding brought to the project has helped them secure additional funding to move the idea eventually forward so that it can impact people. 

Zachary: One way to increase research and end seizures is to stop all the misunderstanding around epilepsy. That means we all need to talk about it…