September 2022 – Epilepsies come in many different guises and are thus not always easy to recognize. To complicate matters, events known as non-epileptic seizures can easily be mistaken for epileptic seizures. This means that diagnosing epilepsies is often a challenge, and patients frequently receive incorrect treatment.
Clear diagnoses will benefit those affected
Both winners of the 2022 Epilepsy League Research Recognition Award are working to facilitate better diagnoses. The total prize money for the award is CHF 25,000, which will be split this year between two recipients.
Isabelle Beuchat from Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) is conducting a project entitled «Seizure biomarkers after non-epileptic events», which will investigate routine blood tests and markers that indicate that someone has had an epileptic seizure. It is thought that these markers (lactate and creatine kinase levels) very likely also rise after a «non-epileptic» psychogenic convulsive event.
More detailed knowledge about these biomarkers should help medical professionals make more accurate diagnoses. «This interdisciplinary project can reduce misdiagnoses and help identify more useful biomarkers that can then be introduced into routine clinical practice,» says Barbara Tettenborn, President of the Epilepsy League.