New project to change the lives of people living with epilepsy

Victorians living with epilepsy will be among the first in the world to access advanced diagnostics and treatment for seizures, with Austin Health and Alfred Health being the first two of a national network of hubs accepting referrals into this ground-breaking project.

Brain researchers and clinicians at the Australian Epilepsy Project (AEP), a research project at The Florey Institute, are using advanced MRI scans, genetics analysis and cognitive testing to offer patients a new and improved standard of care for epilepsy in Australia.

MRI radiographer assists patient into an MRI scanner

The project is open to people living with epilepsy with a referral from their neurologist, at no cost.

Professor Graeme Jackson, the AEP’s Chief Investigator, says the ultimate aim of the Australian Epilepsy Project is to change the lives of people with epilepsy.

“Epilepsy is a life-long disease, and we need life-long solutions,” says Professor Jackson.

“Using algorithms, imaging and rich data we can extract insights to predict patterns in epilepsy, and create individualised treatment plans for patients. This is an exciting new standard of care that we’ll be able to offer people living with epilepsy.”

People from across Victoria start their AEP journey via telehealth and then attend for an in-person MRI scan. Referrals from South Australia will be possible as of late 2022, with Queensland and New South Wales coming online in 2023.

“All Australians should have access to optimal treatment for epilepsy. The AEP democratises access and expertise that is currently confined to a few specialist centres, expanding the offering to the population at large,” Professor Jackson added.

The Australian Epilepsy Project received a $30m grant – the largest single government investment in epilepsy – from the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund in 2021.