for people ages 16-65 (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Daniel Lowenstein, MD
Photo of Daniel Lowenstein
Daniel Lowenstein



The HEP2 study is designed to better understand the challenges of living with focal seizures that do not respond to medication, by following 205 people with medication-resistant focal epilepsy over two years to measure changes in health status, healthcare costs, quality of life, and biomarkers of epilepsy severity and treatment response.

Official Title

Biomarkers, Health Outcomes and Healthcare Utilization in People With Resistant Focal Epilepsy


The Epilepsy Foundation is launching a partnership, called the Human Epilepsy Project, in collaboration with the Epilepsy Study Consortium. This study (which is called HEP2 for short) is designed to better understand the challenges of living with focal seizures that do not respond to medication. The HEP2 study will follow 200 people with medication-resistant focal epilepsy (with seizures that occur at least 2 times per month) over two years to measure changes in their seizure frequency, treatments used, adverse events experienced, presence of co-morbidities 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 nine recruiting study centers. These study centers were selected because they are epilepsy centers with track records of conducting high-quality research in epilepsy and efficiently recruiting participants into studies. The designated sites for the HEP2 study are located in New York, California, Minnesota, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. 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 two or three in person visits at the beginning of the study, after the first year, and a final visit after the second year.


Epilepsy Brain Diseases Central Nervous System Diseases Nervous System Diseases Biomarkers focal; partial


You can join if…

Open to people ages 16-65

  1. Age ≥ 16 years and ≤ 65 years at time of enrollment
  2. Diagnosed with focal epilepsy with prior vEEG confirmation; if no VEEG confirmation, but in the opinion of the investigator the seizures are definite, the case can be reviewed and adjudicated by the consortium
  3. Failure of adequate trials of 4 AEDs, with at least 2 due to failure of seizure control, including current AEDs
  4. Have a seizure frequency of ≥ 2 focal seizures/month, including auras, and at least 1 observable seizures/month, that are countable by the subject and/or caregiver for the 3 months prior to enrollment
  5. Able to keep a daily seizure diary, either independently or with assistance from a caregiver
  6. Able to retrospectively report number of seizures/month for 3 months prior to enrollment
  7. Receiving ≥ 1 AED for treatment of seizures

You CAN'T join if...

  1. Patient has a diagnosis of idiopathic ("primary") generalized epilepsy (e.g., juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, absence epilepsy) or mixed focal and generalized (e.g., Lennox-Gastaut syndrome) or non-epileptic seizures within the last 12 months prior to study entry
  2. Progressive medical or neurological disorder (brain tumor, AD, PME, etc.)
  3. Proven autoimmune etiology
  4. Planning pregnancy in the next 12 months
  5. Has completed a pre-surgical evaluation and intends to pursue surgery in the near term
  6. Resective surgery and/or RNS/VNS in place less than 12 months prior to enrollment
  7. Presence of moderate or greater developmental or cognitive delay (e.g., if an adolescent, not in self-contained classroom; if IQ is documented, should be ≥ 70)
  8. History of chronic drug or alcohol abuse (misuse or excessive use that interferes with activities of daily living) within the last 2 years
  9. Medical, psychiatric or psychosocial condition that would be expected to interfere with the conduct of the study
  10. . Enrolled in any interventional study that required a blinded portion or involves a non-FDA approved drug or device


  • University of California San Francisco
    San Francisco California 94143 United States
  • Idaho Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
    Boise Idaho 83702 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Daniel Lowenstein, MD
    Dr. Daniel H. Lowenstein is the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the Robert B. and Ellinor Aird Professor and Vice Chairman in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Director of Physician-Scientist and Education Training Programs for the UCSF School of Medicine.


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Epilepsy Foundation of America
Study Type
Observational [Patient Registry]
Last Updated