Richard Chin

Dr Richard Chin is the Director of the Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre and a Clinical Senior Lecturer at The University of Edinburgh. Richard is also a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh. 

The Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre is a key collaborator of the Patrick Wild Centre. Many people with epilepsy have other neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. We work together to identify common antecedents for neurodevelopmental disorders.

Childhood epilepsy is a common feature in many forms of neurodevelopmental disorders. These electroencephalograms (EEG) show a brain’s electrical activity as monitored by multiple electrodes placed over the scalp. The top four traces show a typical EEG recording, while the lower eight traces illustrate the transition between typical activity and seizure activity at the start of a petit mal episode.

There are 600,000 cases of epilepsy in the UK and it affects around one per cent of children. In the majority of childhood epilepsy cases, doctors do not know the cause and many children do not respond to existing treatments.

At the Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre (MMEC) we investigate the causes, consequences and best ways to manage childhood epilepsy. The MMEC is a multidisciplinary translational centre. We work closely with fellow members of the Patrick Wild Centre as well as researchers across the University of Edinburgh to develop better treatment strategies for neurodevelopmental disorders and to identify better screening and diagnostic tools.

Our research programme is centred on the clinical and epidemiological aspects of childhood epilepsy.

We now know that a substantial number of children and young people with epilepsy will have more problems than just seizures. We also know that even when these epileptic seizures are controlled, they will also have learning and behavioural problems to cope with and manage including autistic spectrum disorders and intellectual disability.

If there are common histories or causes for neurodevelopmental disorders, clinical and scientific collaboration is essential to understanding causes and developing better treatments.

Our current research projects include:

  1. Pre-natal and early life environmental risk factors for childhood epilepsy
  2. Outcomes of childhood status epilepticus
  3. The frequency, spectrum and risk factors for cognitive and behavioural impairments in preschool and school-aged children


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