Clinical and translational epilepsy research
The Epilepsy Research Group has a wide range of research projects all focused on improved diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis in epilepsy. The research is closely integrated with the epilepsy care at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and the Center for Specialized epilepsy care
Epilepsy care and biomarkers
In the region-wide study PREDICT, we include persons with epilepsy in western Sweden. Blood samples and investigation results are analyzed to find biomarkers – objective measures that can assist diagnosis and treatment. PREDICT also aims to study access to care, and psychosocial outcomes of epilepsy. Provision of epilepsy care is fundamental for treatment of epilepsy. We have several other research projects concerning who gets access to care and disparities in quality of care.
Long-term follow up of a heterogenous condition like epilepsy is difficult. We use register data to study long-term outcomes. Recently, we have developed methods to track use of epilepsy medication, which allows in depth study on which drug is best for which patient. We also use machine-learning for better drug selection. Currently, we are using register data to understand long term side effects of medications in epilepsy.
Epilepsy surgery - methodological development and treatment outcomes
For selected persons with drug-resistant focal epilepsy, surgical treatment is an efficient and well-established treatment. Epilepsy surgery may be resective, i e, the area of the brain in which the seizures start is surgically removed. The aim is for the patient to become seizure free, or have a significant reduction in seizure frequency. In resective epilepsy surgery it is important to define the seizure onset zone and to tailor the planned operation accordingly. Epilepsy surgery can also be palliative, where the goal is limited to reduce or abolish a certain kind of seizures. The most common procedure is callosotomy, where the connection between the hemispheres is divided in order to prevent rapid spread of seizures and reduce the number of so-called drop attacks.
Our research includes methodological development of neuroimaging as well as treatment outcomes. We study the outcomes of epilepsy surgery both in our own consecutive cohort of patients and also for all patients operated in Sweden through the Swedish National Epilepsy Surgery Register, which contains data for all patients operated since 1990.
We investigate many relevant outcomes: seizure outcome and its predictors both short- and long-term (follow-up up to 20 years after surgery); complications; cognitive effects; vocational outcome; mortality and comorbidities; health-related quality of life; personal perceptions. We use both quantitative and qualitative methods.