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AEP Research Assistant publishes first paper as lead-author

February 22, 2024
AEP team member

Using a telehealth-based design, First Seizure Clinic patients were screened for cognition, mood, and anxiety symptoms, prior to an epilepsy diagnosis.

The study found that people with newly diagnosed epilepsy can experience problems with their thinking and memory skills, and low mood and anxiety, as early as their first seizure, and suggests that these issues are due to underlying brain disturbance, rather than the effects of ongoing seizures or antiseizure medication.

Cognitive and psychological dysfunction is present after a first seizure, prior to epilepsy diagnosis and treatment at a First Seizure Clinic with neuropsychological profiles similar to those seen in people with chronic epilepsy. The findings indicate that neuropsychological deficits are already present and detectable at the very onset of the condition. The study also demonstrates the viability of telehealth neuropsychological screening for all new epilepsy cases as a means to assist with early management of these problems. 

  

Remy is a research assistant and PhD candidate within the Epilepsy Cognition Group at The Florey. She is currently completing her doctoral training in clinical neuropsychology at Monash University. Her research focuses on screening neuropsychological function in new-onset epilepsy within a First Seizure Clinic.

 

 

AEP Participant: Gary Alway

Gary has been living with epilepsy for almost three decades. In his early 20s his epilepsy was fairly-well managed with medication, and his seizures were rare. But then everything changed. He began having multiple seizures and blackouts every day, culminating in a car crash nine years ago, caused by a seizure.

AEP Participant: Fiona Waugh

Fiona didn’t experience her first seizure until 34-years-of-age and after a further two tonic clonic seizures in as many days, she was diagnosed with epilepsy. “Since diagnosis I’ve remained drug-resistant with a high frequency of seizure activity. But I’ve always had a desire to try and get on top of it, which has led me to make some big treatment decisions over the years.”

Meet the AEP team: Elliot Brooker

Elliot is a valued member of the AEP Neuropsychology team and is responsible for conducting telehealth neuropsychology assessments for AEP participants and control group volunteers.