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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: Kylie Staats shares her story

Hi, my name is Kylie Staats, I’m 37 years old and I have had epilepsy for almost my entire life. I had my first seizure when I was four years old, and at that time, nobody knew why it was happening.

AEP Volunteer: Luke Wolfe

Meet Luke Wolfe, a recent volunteer for the AEP’s control group. Earlier this year, his close friend experienced her first seizure and was subsequently diagnosed with epilepsy. Watching her navigate this new diagnosis and its impact on her life left him wondering if there was a more proactive way he could help, other than offering care and support.

Meet the team: Seiko Bhungane

Meet Seiko, a Clinical Trials Assistant with the Australian Epilepsy Project. As a member of the Clinical Trials team, Seiko is responsible for the recruitment of both AEP participants and control group volunteers as well as the follow-up interviews with our three participant cohorts (first seizure, newly diagnosed and drug-resistant). “The first call you get from the AEP and the last one, is done by my team and I.”