What is the Human Epilepsy Project?

HEP is an international team of over 300 doctors, researchers, healthcare workers and patients working together at 27 hospitals, to study the biomarkers of new-onset focal epilepsy . Together, we are working toward the day when any patient can come to their doctor and immediately get an appropriate treatment that cures their seizures.


The doctors of HEP study pictures of the brain and look for molecules and genes to help understand how patients respond to treatments and become seizure-free. As a result of this research future patients with epilepsy will be able to receive an individualized treatment plan, resulting in a more immediate improvement or cure for their condition. Information gathered from the studies may also aid the development of medicines that will prevent epilepsy.

Who can participate?


The Human Epilepsy project is looking for treatment resistant patients who:

  • Have a history of focal epilepsy

  • Have four or more seizures per month

  • Have tried four or more drugs to control seizures without success

What does participating in HEP involve?

The HEP2 study will follow 200 people with medication-resistant focal epilepsy (with seizures that occur at least 4 times per month) over two years to measure changes in their seizure frequency, treatments used, adverse events experienced, presence of comorbidities like depression and anxiety, healthcare costs, and quality of life.  

Blood samples will also be collected in order to look for biomarkers of epilepsy severity and treatment response.

Participants can join the HEP2 study at any one of eight recruiting study centers: NYU, UCSF, Mayo Rochester, Minnesota Epilepsy Group, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Northwell Health, and Vanderbilt University.

A participant may enroll in the HEP2 study but continue to receive their standard epilepsy care with their current physician, as long as the participant is willing to share his or her medical records, and travel to the study center for 3 in person visits at the beginning of the study, after the first year, and a final visit after the second year.

HEP Funding

HEP is funded by the Epilepsy Study Consortium, a nonprofit organization comprised of epilepsy doctors, working to improve the care of people with epilepsy by funding and managing research projects.