February 1, 2022

The Initial Impact of the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic on Epilepsy Research

Abstract appeared in Wiley Online Library

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of many practices throughout the world. Through necessity to minimize spread and provide clinical care to those with severe disease, focus has been on limiting face-to-face contact. Research in many areas has been put on hold. We sought to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on epilepsy research from international basic science and clinical researchers. Responses to five questions were solicited through a convenience sample by direct email and through postings on the ILAE social media accounts and an ILAE online platform (utilizing Slack). Information was collected from 15 respondents in 11 countries by email or via Zoom interviews between May 19, 2020, and June 4, 2020. Several themes emerged including a move to virtual working, project delays with laboratory work halted and clinical work reduced, funding concerns, a worry about false data with regard to COVID research and concern about research time lost. However, a number of positive outcomes were highlighted, not least the efficiency of online working and other adaptations that could be sustained in the future.