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Prodrome Recognition in Epilepsy and its Neurophysiological Correlates (PRESENCE)

Epilepsy is a complex neurological condition that affects about 1% of the global population. It is characterised by an enduring predisposition to epileptic seizures, and physical, cognitive, psychological, and social co-morbidities. One third of people diagnosed with epilepsy continues to have seizures despite treatment with anti-seizure medication. Epilepsy is paroxysmal; seizures are only present a fraction of the time, but their unpredictability causes high levels of anxiety. As a result, people with epilepsy report poor quality of life, depression, and social stigma. Despite continuous research efforts in the past 30 years, it is impossible to reliably predict when a seizure will occur. Novel approaches to predict seizures and deal with seizure-induced anxiety are urgently needed. It was suggested in some studies that people with epilepsy can learn to recognise seizure precursory signs, leading to a greater sense of control and less anxiety. In the current study, we aim to develop a specific training for people with epilepsy based on a combination of mindfulness and interviews (microphenomenology) to improve seizure awareness and reduce seizure-related anxiety. We will explore whether such training and first-person data can improve seizure prediction algorithms. This study will shed light on the complex relationship between conscious experience and the brain.


Prisca Bauer, M.D., PhD



Berta Ottenstein Programm für Clinician Scientists (2020-2022)

European Varela Award (2021-2022)