Centre for research into early diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy opens

The UK’s first research centre aimed at the early diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy has been opened in Edinburgh.

The Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre at the University of Edinburgh was launched by The Princess Royal on Tuesday.

The £1m centre works to improve the lives of children with epilepsy by focusing on medical and educational treatments. They are also carrying out research to better understand the impact of the condition.

The team will also look at whether the influence that a mother’s health and lifestyle can have on the chances of her child developing epilepsy.

The centre is funded by the Muir Maxwell Trust, which was started in Ann and Jonny Maxwell in 2003 after their son Muir was diagnosed with a severe form of epilepsy in infancy.

Ann Maxwell spoke at the opening on Tuesday.

She said: "The challenge of caring for a child with severe epilepsy may begin with diagnosis but it doesn't end there. He or she may have the condition but the whole family lives with it. All too often, it is a lonely and difficult existence because of a lack of understanding of what it means to have a child with severe epilepsy.

"I believe that the work carried out at the Centre will lead to improved and better designed support for both the child and their family. I am proud that the Muir Maxwell Trust has been the catalyst to enable this to happen."

Centre director Dr Richard Chin said he had high hopes for the work they will be doing.

He said: "At the centre, we aspire to revolutionise research and clinical care in epilepsy on an unprecedented scale in the UK and beyond. We aim to encourage, foster and welcome interdisciplinary collaboration since only then can we truly address the many aspects of epilepsy."

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