In total, and per patient, epilepsy research is significantly underfunded from three major sources: pharmaceutical companies, the government, and private foundations.

Pharmaceutical investment in epilepsy is less than in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and given the lack of early stage clinical programs, ​it is projected to decline further over the next several years. The government invests $140–160 million in epilepsy research, but per patient contributes less to epilepsy than it does to other major neurological disorders. Finally, at less than $10 million, non-profit foundations contribute less than $4 per patient to epilepsy research. Parkinson’s, by contrast, receives $40–50 per patient from nonprofits. All told, epilepsy receives less total funding per patient than Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and autism (Exhibit 1). Per researcher, funding for epilepsy lags average funding for all diseases by nearly 50%. It is hard to imagine finding a cure (or cures) for epilepsy will be feasible without a significant increase in funding across all three sources. In particular, much can be done to drive an increase in contributions to
epilepsy organizations for research, where the gap is most significant relative to other neurological disorders.