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MMT Purchase new software & hardware for MMEC, the first of its kind in Scotland

State of the art MRI scanning in Scotland could enable Drs to predict learning and behavioural problems in preschool children with epilepsy and help with the assessment of children being considered for epilepsy surgery. Such advanced scanning might also provide the clinical evidence needed to confirm the merits of Vagal Nerve Stimulus (VNS) as an effective long term treatment in epilepsy.

Parents managing their children with difficult epilepsy know all too well it is not just about the seizures. Up to half of all children with epilepsy have learning difficulties and behavioural problems and some are profound.  Early identification of such problems is important because early interventions are likely to be more effective. In preschool children, who have the most serious forms of epilepsy, it is crucial that such problems are identified early and accurately.

In support of an Edinburgh based psychological study being carried out at Edinburgh University by the Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre (MMEC)  on all newly diagnosed children with epilepsy, MMT has funded state of the art software and hardware, the first of its kind in Scotland and one of just three in the UK. In addition to psychological assessments, MMEC will now be able to carry out detailed advanced MRI's to identify new MRI features that could be used in the future to predict and identify children with epilepsy with learning and behavioural problems so that appropriate educational and social support can be given.

In addition to MMEC's important epilepsy research, this equipment will have immediate clinical benefit for children with a Vagal Nerve Stimulator (VNS), allowing such patients to have MRI scans for the first time and potentially confirming the clinical benefits of VNS as a long term treatment  in epilepsy.  MMT's Co Founder, Ann Maxwell, is a long time advocate of Vagal Nerve Stimulation ( VNS)  as a treatment in epilepsy, believing  that VNS has helped manage cognitive and behavioural problems in their son Muir ( aged 16) as well as the severity of seizures. Until now clinical evidence has been difficult to obtain.

The extra detail obtained from advanced MRI's will also be helpful for assessment of children being considered for epilepsy surgery.

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