UC researcher receives grant to improve the transition of care for pediatric patients with epilepsy

U.C. MEDICAL NEWS: Katie Pence
Assistant Director, Media Relations

CINCINNATI, OH (June 22, 2020) – The transition from adolescence to adulthood is tough for most, but adding a chronic condition to the mix can make it seem unmanageable.

Emily Nurre, MD, assistant professor of neurology and rehabilitation medicine at the UC College of Medicine, UC Health neurologist and member of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute.  (Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand)

Emily Nurre, MD, assistant professor of neurology and rehabilitation medicine at the UC College of Medicine and UC Health neurologist, says this change for pediatric patients with epilepsy can turn life upside down. She is a member of the U.C. Gardner Neuroscience Institute and says  the transition from pediatric epilepsy care to adult care can be extremely difficult for patients. She’s studying ways to help with the transition using a CCTST grant.

“This is a very vulnerable population,” said Nurre. “They are still developing their frontal lobe which can lead to issues with self-management such as adherence to medication and making it to appointments. Many of these patients haven’t been managing their condition because their parents have been doing it for them for years. Then, they’re off to live on their own or attend college and may have not learned the necessary skills to manage their epilepsy.”

The results can lead to missed medications and appointments, worsening of the condition and hospitalization.

This is why Nurre has made it her goal to create a smoother transition from pediatric to adult care for these patients and to study the best ways to make it successful. The UC Center for Clinical & Translational Science & Training (CCTST) has awarded her a $5,000 Community Partnership Development Grant to help.

“The UC Epilepsy Center, a comprehensive Level 4 epilepsy center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Epilepsy Alliance Ohio are all working together to design and implement a transition clinic for patients with epilepsy from child to adult care,” Nurre said. “These are the patients that often get lost in the health care system, and we want to provide them with the resources needed to be advocates for themselves and live, healthy fruitful lives.”

Click here to read more about the project in U.C. News