The Epilepsy and Movement Disorders group undertakes clinical research into the causes and treatment of epilepsy and disorders of movement in children.
Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological disorder affecting children and results in repeated electrical brain attacks, called seizures. There are hundreds of causes of epilepsy so investigating the syndrome is complex. The team has played a major collaborative role in the discovery of new genes that cause epilepsy, been instrumental in the development of an epilepsy gene panel (testing for 100 epilepsy genes) at the hospital, and a leadership role in understanding the role of the immune system in the condition. Furthermore, the team in collaboration with the TY Nelson Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery which performs research into the role of epilepsy surgery in patients with Refractory Epilepsy.
Movement disorders in children typically involve unwanted and involuntary extra and purposeless movements that affect the ability to perform daily tasks, fine motor activities and walk. The most common movement disorders are tics and Tourette syndrome which affects 1 in 200 children. Our team has played a major collaborative role in the discovery of new genes that cause movement disorders, and in collaboration with the TY Nelson Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery is leading a program in deep brain stimulation, a treatment for severe dystonia in children. The team is also undertaking a number of exciting clinical trials in children with tics and related disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.