The Human Epilepsy Project (HEP)

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The Human Epilepsy Project (HEP) is a multicenter prospective observational study designed to find biomarkers predictive of disease progression, treatment response, and outcomes in participants with recently diagnosed focal epilepsy.

For the vast majority of patients with epilepsy, we do not understand the biological basis of their disease, we do not know whether a given medication will be effective, and we cannot predict the severity of the seizure disorder, the potential emergence of complications, or the likelihood of seizures stopping. The Human Epilepsy Project is designed to help answer these questions

HEP investigators will collect high-resolution clinical information about participants' epilepsy and treatment response. Participants will receive MRIs, EEG, neuropsychological testing, annual visits with exams, interviews, and have biological specimens collected for DNA, RNA, protein, and metabolomics. Participants will also track seizures, medication use, side effects, and mood using an iPod touch provided free by HEP. HEP will follow these patients for a minimum of three years to characterize their clinical course and evolution. . The end result will be an open data repository for the identification of novel risk factors and therapeutic targets that may benefit patients with epilepsy.

Patients may be eligible if:
- They have seizures consistent with localization-related ("focal" or "partial") epilepsy
- They have had 2 or more spontaneous seizures in the past 12 months
- If they are between 12 and 60 years old
- If they have been on seizure medicines for less than 4 months

The UCSF Epilepsy Center is one of 27 academic centers participating in HEP, and is one of the principal sites involved in the design and launch of the study. HEP is funded by the Epilepsy Study Consortium, a nonprofit collaboration if foundations and investigators interested in the improvement of epilepsy patients' lives. HEP has the potential to provide new insights into the biological basis of epilepsy, which will advance our efforts to discover effective treatments and cures for these important disorders.

For more information, go to:

Or contact:

Dan Lowenstein, MD

HEP Principal Investigator
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Manu Hegde, MD, PhD

UCSF Site Principal Investigator
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Stacey Balter
HEP Study Coordinator for UCSF