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Project information

Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre

A partnership with the University of Edinburgh to translate cutting-edge research into clinical solutions for paediatric epilepsy.
We have an overall fundraising target of £1million, but we are seeking £100,000 via the Big Give, just 10% of the total.
Please contact us for more information.

August 2011 - August 2016

Charity information: Muir Maxwell Trust

Muir Maxwell Trust logo
  • Need


    An estimated 60,000 children in the UK are affected by epilepsy,a serious neurological disorder characterised by seizures caused by abnormal activity in the brain. It can have serious implications in childhood and beyond, such as brain damage and associated behavioural and developmental implications.
    The Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre will be the first dedicated research centre in the UK to focus on translating laboratory findings about childhood epilepsy directly into improved clinical care.


    The Centre’s work will form a key part of a wider research group at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Neuroregeneration. The MM Centre will research the role of prenatal diet, antenatal stress and infant diet, plus multidisciplinary assessments in pre-school epilepsy. Predictors for Autism and ADHD in children with epilepsy and the role of society and schools will also be considered. A nationwide database will prove invaluable in identifying trends in the incidence of epilepsy in children

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Environmental Risk Factors for epilepsy and associated learning and behavioural impairments.


    » Research the role of prenatal diet, antenatal stress and infant diet (a European Clinical Training Fellowship (4 yrs) & a non-clinical PhD (3 yrs)
    » Research MRI predictors for Autism and ADHD in children with epilepsy (UK Clinical Lectureship for 2 years)
    » Multidisciplinary assessments in preschool epilepsy (Non-clinical PhD for 3 years)

    What success will look like

    Success will be...
    Significant improvements understanding the effects of prenatal and early-life factors in order to eventually reduce the incidence of childhood epilepsy.

    Aim 2

    Research society and schools and their relationship with children with epilepsy


    » A non-clinical PHD study for 3 years

    What success will look like

    Success will be...
    Improvements in comprehensive care based on rational research on, for example- psychology, psychiatry, education and social science.

    Aim 3

    Improved Drug Therapy in Childhood Epilepsy


    » Non-clinical PhD for 3 years on novel pathways for seizure medications

    What success will look like

    Success will be...
    Improvement in care and improvements in control and impact of the condition, such as the reduction of seizures.

    Aim 4

    Development of a nationwide database for childhood epilepsy


    » A four-year project involving and informatics linkage database and associated specialist member of staff to develop this.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...
    A better understanding of a wide range of factors that may increase the incidence of epilepsy in certain populations, leading to improved diagnosis and care.

  • Impact


    To develop new treatments and public health strategies to prevent the onset of epilepsy and to enhance care in those diagnosed with the condition.

    Success will be demonstrated in the outcomes of the research projects after the initial five-year period, plus the application and translation of research into improved clinical care.


    1) Research Quality -The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s leading research universities. In 2008 Edinburgh came top in the national Research Assessment Exercise for “Hospital-based Clinical Subjects”, making it top in the UK for this type of research. The head of the Centre is also one of the UK’s leading experts. All research in the UK is robustly monitored.
    2) Partnership Project - we have an excellent working relationship which will ensure any issues are resolved swiftly.


    We will update donors regularly via their preferred method, such as by letter, telephone and email.
    We also regularly update our website with latest news and developments.
    We can arrange site visits to the University if requested.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £100,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £100,000 Research Staff Contribution to the core project team
  • Background


    The Muir Maxwell Centre for Childhood Epilepsy Research will form a key part of the wider research group for neurological disorders at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Neuroregeneration, co-located with the new Royal Sick Children’s Hospital.


    Children with epilepsy and their families and carers, plus hopefully the prevention of paediatric epilepsy in the future.

    Public Health providers and Policy Makers

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    MMT is the leading UK paediatric epilepsy charity and as it is based in Musselburgh, East Lothian, it is ideally placed to work in partnership with the University of Edinburgh on this unique project, creating a new centre of excellence for paediatric epilepsy research.
    MMT has the experience of dealing every day with families caring for children with epilepsy and it has a wide range of information to draw upon to bring to the partnership. It also has an excellent track record of fundraising.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Richard Chin, University Of Edinburgh

    Dr Chin will head up the new centre, commencing in August 2011.