EpiCARE: a European Reference Network
for rare and complex epilepsies

The European Reference Networks (ERNs) were launched in 2017. They involve more than 900 highly specialised health care teams, located in more than 300 hospitals in 26 European countries. The main mission of the ERNs is to help patients with rare or low-prevalence complex diseases.

A disease is defined as rare when it affects fewer than one in 2 000 people, is serious, chronic and often life-threatening. Between 5 000 and 8 000 of rare diseases affect daily life of around 30 million people in the EU.

The ERN EpiCARE brings together highly specialized health centres (28 full members and 15 affiliated partners) in 24 European countries with expertise in rare and complex epilepsies.

If you are a healthcare professional and would like to refer a patient to us, or if you are a patient yourself, or a family member of a patient, please get in touch via our contact page.

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.

Developing treatment

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.

Collaborative research

To enhance opportunities for registries, and collaborative research for the benefit of individuals with rare and complex epilepsies across Europe.

Latest News


2nd Cycle, 1st EPIPED Course @ Girona, Spain
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day

The aim of the 3-year cycle EPIPED training course, endorsed between others by the ERN EPICARE, the ILAE EUROPE and the EPNS, is to reduce the geographical and knowledge gap by providing neurologists and child neurologists involved in epilepsy care the opportunity for a regular update on best treatment practices in children with epilepsies.

The concept of EPIPED is based on a 3-year cycle of independent annual training courses, developed specifically for child neurologists, physicians and epilepsy nurses caring for patients with epilepsy.

A limited number of plenary interactive sessions cover different aspects of treatment strategies in children with all types of epilepsies, particularly the rare and complex ones. Topics treated are related to pharmacology, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, genetics, analysis of AED trials, design of clinical trials, pre-surgical evaluation, optimal choice of AEDs, review of existing guidelines (ILAE, NICE, other), data on ketogenic diet, neurostimulation, indications for resective and palliative surgery, pharmacological treatments other than with AEDs, update on the development of targeted therapies. This link gives you access to the full program of the 3 years cycle: https://www.epiped-course.com/PROGRAM_a24.html

An important number of interactive modules allow participants, limited to 10-15 per group, to discuss with experts regarding the best clinical practices and therapeutic strategies. Participants, limited to 40-45, are offered the opportunity to also bring their own clinical cases for discussion of optimal treatment approaches. This educational activity is addressing the corresponding learning objectives of the ILAE curriculum (Blümcke et al 2019).

Oxford Masterclass in Epileptology Epilepsy and Transition   @ Corpus Christi College, Oxford
May 7 all-day

We are delighted to invite you to what will be the 8th Oxford Masterclass in Epileptology at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. The Masterclasses aim to tackle a difficult area of epileptology over the course of a day with renowned national and international speakers. We encourage the sessions to be interactive with time for discussion after each talk and over the tea/coffee and lunch breaks.

The theme this year is the transition of people with epilepsy.

We very much hope that you will be able to join us in Oxford!

13th International Epilepsy Colloquium
May 20 – May 22 all-day

The 13th International Epilepsy Colloquium goes virtual !

More information here.

18th San Servolo Advanced Epilepsy Course – postponed to 2021 @ San Servolo, Venice, Italy
Jul 20 – Jul 31 all-day

The main objective of the 7th edition of the Advanced Epilepsy Course Bridging Basic with Clinical Epileptology is to train attendees to improve the critical competencies necessary to design an effective research project/activity in the field of epilepsy.

More details

2nd International Congress on Epilepsy in Cerebrovascular Disease CET Time @ Gothenburg, Sweden
Sep 8 – Sep 10 all-day
11th International Summer School for Neuropathology and Epilepsy Surgery – INES 2020 – postponed to 2021 @ University Hospital, Erlangen Krankenhausstr. 12
Sep 9 – Sep 12 all-day

Reliable neuropathological work-up of epilepsy-associated brain lesions represents an important diagnostic value for the surgical management of patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy. The international classification of epilepsies recognizes a large spectrum of brain lesions as potential predictors of disease progression and treatment response.

The 11th International Summer School for Neuropathology and Epilepsy Surgery is designed to enable participants to better recognize and classify various histopathological substrates of drug-resistant epilepsy. Topics related to the diagnosis and treatment of human focal epilepsies will be presented by internationally renowned faculty. Advanced hands-on histopathology training will be offered in small groups led by distinguished tutors who will review and discuss microscopy slides of selected cases with different staining protocols. Participants will also have the opportunity to present their own cases for discussion with the entire group. The workshop has been held in Germany, Brazil, USA and China since 2013, with the endorsement of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE).


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The European Reference Network

28 full members and 15 affiliated partners in 24 countries

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.