EpiCARE: a European Reference Network for rare and complex epilepsies
The epilepsies are a group of disorders where individuals are prone to recurrent epileptic seizures. Rare epilepsies affect less than 5 people in 10,000 of the general population and are either defined as an epilepsy syndrome or seizures as the result of a specific cause.
Advances in brain scanning as well as genetic and metabolic investigations have determined an increasing number of causes behind epileptic seizures, resulting in the description of more than 130 rare diseases.
EpiCARE brings together 28 highly specialized health centres in 13 European countries with expertise in rare and complex epilepsies. EpiCARE offers a coordinated approach for epilepsy diagnostics and treatment by utilizing e-tools and cross-country e-consultancy, thus providing patients with the best expertise available.
Capitalizing on the large spectrum of diagnostic and treatment modalities as well as on the individual expertise of our centres in the field of rare and complex epilepsies, EpiCARE members are working together to create significant added value for patient care, research, education and training in close collaboration with patient organisations.
The objectives of the EpiCARE network
- To improve accessibility of detailed diagnostics to individuals of all ages with rare and complex epilepsies across Europe, including clinical evaluation and investigation.
- To develop treatment protocols and monitor standardised outcomes of rare and complex epilepsies.
- To improve awareness and accessibility to protocols for physicians and individuals with rare and complex epilepsies across Europe for treatment.
- To enhance educational activities and training opportunities across Europe by interchange across the network.
- To enhance opportunities for registries, and collaborative research for the benefit of individuals with rare and complex epilepsies across Europe.
European Reference Networks (ERN)
European Reference Networks (ERN) are virtual networks involving specialist healthcare providers across Europe. They aim to tackle complex or rare medical diseases or conditions that require highly specialised treatment and a concentration of knowledge and resources. The ERNs are part of a broader EU strategy to make the national and European health systems more efficient, accessible and resilient.