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The Epilepsy Unit at the Hospital Clínic is simultaneously developing several lines of research. The main areas are:
Preclinical and clinical trials with antiepileptic drugs. The Hospital Clínic is participating in various clinical trials with antiepileptic drugs that are not yet available on the market. Moreover, we are conducting controlled trials with groups of patients to study the efficacy, side effects and clinical safety of some new antiepileptic medications.
Development of new functional and structural neuroimaging techniques designed to identify the epileptogenic area. The Epilepsy Unit is overseeing different lines of neuroimaging research in attempts to improve our ability to locate the epileptogenic area (the site of seizure onset) and therefore achieve better surgical results with minimal tissue resection. We are developing new analytical techniques for brain PET, ictal SPECT and functional MRI (fMRI). There are several ongoing studies using functional MRI to identify the language and epileptic networks (“epileptic focus”) prior to surgery and therefore eliminate the need for invasive EEG studies in all patients.
The study and monitoring of patients with epilepsy during pregnancy. The Epilepsy Unit conducts very specific supervision of pregnant women with epilepsy who are taking antiepileptic medication. In collaboration with the Hospital Clínic’s Maternity Unit, we carry out studies into treatment suitability, therapeutic safety and the prevention of potential foetal malformations. The studies focus on the mother’s and baby’s safety during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
Epilepsy patient empowerment. We are conducting studies to assess patient satisfaction with the care they receive and to analyse the effect of health education in terms of managing their condition and the impact it has on their quality of life.