UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


The Epilepsy Society Brain and Tissue Bank


The Epilepsy Society Brain and Tissue Bank is a recently established tissue bank at the Institute of Neurology, which has ethical approval and is supported by the Epilepsy Society. It is located within UCL Institute of Neurology in the Department of Neuropathology and is governed by a committee including members of the Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, the Epilepsy Society as well as SUDEP Action.

The directors for the tissue bank are Dr Maria Thom, Consultant Neuropathologist in the Department of Neuropathology and Prof. Sanjay Sisodiya in the Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy. The tissue bank is HTA licenced.

The collection comprises consented tissue samples from patients who have undergone epilepsy surgery, mainly at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. In addition the tissue bank archives whole brain samples from patients with epilepsy and particularly epilepsy-related deaths, such as sudden and unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).

The aim of the tissue bank is to support research into epilepsy and accelerate the development of new treatments and cures and to act as a tissue resource for unmet needs in epilepsy research, in a wide variety of research projects, in particular SUDEP.


We have a donor registry for people who have epilepsy, seizures or who are healthy, without seizures, who wish to donate brain tissue following death. For further information regarding any type of brain tissue donation please contact the brain bank manager on : epilepsybrainbank@ucl.ac.uk.

Further information for donors is also available on the Epilepsy Society Brain and Tissue Bank web pages

Sudden Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)

The UCL Institute of Neurology is part of the Centre for SUDEP research, which aims to advance understanding and prevention of SUDEP.

We provide a rapid neuropathology diagnostic service for pathologists and Coroners in the UK involved with SUDEP cases and other epilepsy-related deaths as well as a point of collection for tissue donated for research. Please see our Coroner's information sheet or contact epilepsybrainbank@ucl.ac.uk for further information.

Further information on SUDEP including the epilepsy deaths register.

EPIPHANY STUDY: Neurodegeneration in Epilepsy (2021-2026)

epiphany logo

Cognitive decline represents a significant and debilitating co-morbidity for patients with epilepsy which is poorly understood with an urgent clinical need for diagnostic, preventative and treatment strategies. We are undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of mixed neurodegenerative processes integrating cross-sectional and longitudinal MRI and PET imaging with quantitative neuropathological analysis of degenerative processes in the context of cognitive impairment, genetic risk and CSF biomarkers. Cellular drivers for degeneration accumulation, as MTOR and seizure activity, will be explored through human slice culture experiments with gene-expression analysis to identify early disease-stage biomarkers enabling prediction and preventative strategies. This project is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Tissue for research

Please contact epilepsybrainbank@ucl.ac.uk regarding research related tissue requests.