The William Dennis Fund

Research for Children with Epilepsy


Research News


Juvenile Epilepsy

Due to the confusion surrounding epilepsy, many people are reluctant to seek treatment. Yet more than 300,00 Canadians - about one in every 200 - have epilepsy. A person is considered to have epilepsy if they experience two or more seizures. The marjourit of peopleare diagnosed in childhood - 44% before age 5. 55% before age 10, and 75 to 80% before age 18.

In addition to the enormous medical impact epilepsy has on the life of children and their families, adverse social and academic effect can also occure. With your help, children with epilepsy can grow up confident in an informed, understanding and accepting environment.



The sudden, unexpected death of William Dennis at age 30 was related to seizures. Individuals with epilepsy are usually completely healthy between seizures, which occur without warning or precipitating factors. Although rare, Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy Patients (SUDEP) occurs in previously healthy people with epilepsy.

Still unexplained despite on-going investigation and research, SUDEP is responsible for 12-15% of all sudden deaths reported, and accounts for 10% of all epilepsy-related deaths. Eighty-five percent of SUDEP deaths occur in individuals between the ages of 20 and 50.


Pediatric Epilepsy Research

The Pediatric Neurology group at the IWK Health Centre and Dalhousie University is internationally recognized for its leadership role in clinical epilepsy research. For more than 20 years, they have delivered benefits to those with epilepsy here in the Maritimes, nationally and internationally.

The support of the William Dennis Fund and the establishment of the William Dennis Chair in Pediatric Epilepsy Research will:

  • Develop a research program of excellence and international stature.
  • Turn new information into improved care for children with epilepsy.
  • Combine research and clinical care in all areas of pediatric epilepsy.
  • Train future child neurologists in the next and future generations of child neurologists.
  • Bring international attention to the quality of research at the IWK Health Centre and Dalhousie University.
  • Reinforce the region's ability to recruit and retain health professionals.
  • Strengthen the region as a strong, viable place to work and live.