Research in Epilepsy: Development Priorities for Developing Nations


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. E. S. Krishnamoorthy at T. S. Srinivasan Institute of Neurological Sciences and Research, Public Health Centre, 114, Lake View Road, West Mambalam, Chennai 600033, India. E-mail:


Summary:  Purpose: To identify research priorities in epilepsy for developing nations.

Methods: A panel discussion with audience participation at the Indo-U.K. Workshop on Epilepsy. This included short presentations by panelists, the presentation of a research proposal, and debate on research priorities.

Results: The need to focus on primary-care populations; to use a multi-centre random block design; to incorporate rural areas and a service component; to study incidence, natural history, and aetiology; to focus on problems, such as cysticercosis, and to adopt a comprehensive public health–centred approach in doing so; to study disorders of local interest, such as hot water epilepsy; to pilot both pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions; to incorporate comprehensive measures of cognition, behaviour, and psychosocial outcome in all studies; and to examine the role of novel diagnostic tools (imaging for example) and therapy (surgery for example) on cost were all outlined as priority areas.

Discussion: There is a felt need for greater and better-quality research output from the developing world. The development of uniform research protocols, the twinning of developed and developing nations for research, and training of developing nations' personnel are likely to increase research output in the years that come.