An international pilot study of an Internet-based platform to facilitate clinical research in epilepsy: the EpiNet project.
Peter Bergin ; Lynette Sadleir ; Wendyl D’Souza ; Jithangi Wanigasinghe ; Hui Jan Tan ; Kavita Srivastava ; Pasquale Striano ; Michel Ossemann ; Yang Je Cho ; Thomas Borkowski ; Jorge Burneo ; Clara Zanchi ; Simone Beretta ; Nitika Dang ; Manjari Tripathi ; Zarine Mogal ; Benjamin Legros
Epilepsia, Vol.53(10) : 1829~1835, 2012
PURPOSE: We created an epilepsy patient database that can be accessed via the Internet by neurologists from anywhere in the world. The database was designed to enroll and follow large cohorts of patients with specific epilepsy syndromes, and to facilitate recruitment of patients for investigator-initiated clinical trials.
METHODS: The EpiNet database records physician-derived information regarding seizure type and frequency, epilepsy syndrome, etiology, drug history, and investigations. It can be accessed from any country by approved investigators via a secure, password-protected Website. All data are encrypted. The database is for both research and clinical purposes. Investigators were invited to register any patient with epilepsy, but were particularly encouraged to register patients when uncertain of the optimal management. Participation required approval from investigators' ethics committees and institutional review boards, and all patients or their caregiver provided written informed consent. Patients were not enrolled in clinical trials in this pilot study.
KEY FINDINGS: The international pilot study recruited patients from September 2010 to November 2011. Sixty-four investigators or research assistants from 25 centers in 13 countries registered 1,050 patients. Patients with a wide range of epilepsy syndromes and etiologies were registered. Patients' ages ranged from 2 weeks to 90 years.
SIGNIFICANCE: The Website was successfully used by doctors working in different health systems. The pilot study confirmed that this low-cost, collaborative approach to research has great potential. Large, multicenter cohort studies will commence in 2012, and randomized clinical trials are being planned. All epileptologists are invited to join this project.