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Climate change and epilepsy: MP calls for funding

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Climate change and epilepsy: MP calls for funding

The Epilepsy Society are delighted that our local MP, Sarah Green, used her first ever question to the Prime Minister to call for research funding into the impact of climate change on people with epilepsy.

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday 3rd November, Sarah Green highlighted our Epilepsy in Climate Change (EpiCC) initiative. 

EpiCC seeks to foster research, share knowledge, disseminate information and promote practices that reduce contributions to climate change and help mitigate its effects for people with epilepsy.

Sarah, who represents Chesham and Amersham where the Epilepsy Society is based, said:

"The Epilepsy Society are a charity with a world-leading research centre based in my constituency. They’ve started the Epilepsy Climate Change Initiative to better understand the effects of climate change on epilepsy, and the impact is already clear. A recent survey showed that 62% of those whose seizures were uncontrolled experienced an increase in seizure frequency or severity during hot weather. Will the Prime Minister put human health on the climate change agenda, endorse the Epilepsy Climate Change Initiative and commit to more funding to research the impact of climate change on human health?'

Responding, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:  
“We’re funding epilepsy research with another £54 million over the last few years and this issue that she raises of any particular link between hot weather or climate change and epilepsy is certainly one that we will be going into.”  

Speaking after PMQs, Sarah Green said she was pleased that the Prime Minister had agreed to look into the impact of climate change on epilepsy. She said:

"This illustrates the immediate effect the climate crisis is having on the everyday lives of people not just locally but around the world. I implore him to follow through and ensure he puts human health on the climate agenda." 

Clare Pelham, CEO of the Epilepsy Society, also commented on Sarah's question and the Prime Minister's response.

Clare said: “We are delighted the Prime Minister is interested to know more about epilepsy and climate change. We will certainly invite him to visit our world-leading research centre in Buckinghamshire where scientists from around the world are carrying out ground-breaking research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. 

"We are very grateful to our constituency MP for raising the case for more funds into research which will translate into better lives for the 600,000 people in the UK with epilepsy.” 

With COP26 currently taking place in Glasgow, the Epilepsy Society are eager to ensure that human health is put on the climate change agenda. 

To highlight this, we have taken the bold decision to turn our much-loved purple branding green for the two weeks of COP26. You can read more about what motivated our decision here