Biology of Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy

Why it matters?

Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder affecting 1% of the population. There are over 30 types of epilepsies, some common and some rare. Most epilepsies arise in childhood and have a genetic cause. Approximately 40% of patients have the common forms of Genetic Generalised Epilepsy (GGE), and most prevalent GGE is Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy (JME). The goal of this study is to find the genetic cause for JME. We will do this by comparing the genetic code in JME patients with that in people who do not have epilepsy. To help us do this, we will use clues from their electroencephalograph (EEG) or brainwave test that is used to help diagnose epilepsy.

What we are doing?

We are collecting genetic information through blood samples and EEG data from over 1000 people with JME across the UK, Europe and North America. This data will be used to find the genetic cause of JME. Finding the cause will help create better treatments for JME, as well as improve patient outcomes by allowing us to detect it earlier.

When will this study be recruiting?

We are currently recruiting participants to BIOJUME across the UK, Europe and other countries. A full list of recruiting centres can be found further down this page. In most cases you will need to already be a patient at a recruiting centre to participate. Please contact the Study Manager or talk to the team at your recruiting centre if you’re interested in participating.

What will participants be asked to do?

For this study participants will undergo a single blood test and may also do an EEG recording at the hospital (if they haven’t already had one done).

Who can take part?

Anyone who is currently 6 to 50 years old and who started to have symptoms of JME between the ages of 6 and 25 years old can take part.

Who is conducting the research?

Professor Deb Pal at King’s College London is the Chief Investigator of this study along with co-investigators Dr Lisa Strug (University of Toronto) and Professor Mark Richardson (King’s College London). There is also a large consortium of collaborating partners for this study:

Hospital for Sick Kids – Dr Lisa Strug, Naim Panjwani
Czech Republic
Charles University – Dr Jana Zarubova, Dr Katalin Sterbová, Dr Marketa Vlckova
Danish National Epilepsy Centre – Prof Guido Rubboli, Dr Rikke Møller, Dr Elena Gardella
Odense Universitetshospital – Assoc. Prof Christoph Patrick Beier, Joanna Gesche
Tallinn Children’s Hospital – Dr Inga Talvik
Commissione Genetica Lega Italiana Contro l’Epilepssia – Dr Pasquale Striano, Dr Alessandro Orsini
University of Malaysia – Assoc. Prof Choong Yi Fong, Dr Kheng Seang Lim, Assoc. Prof Ching Ching Ng
Vestre Viken Health Trust – Dr Jeanette Koht, Dr Kaja Selmer, Dr Marte Syvertsen
United Kingdom
Cardiff & Vale University Health Board – Dr Khalid Hamandi
King’s College London/King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – Prof Deb Pal, Prof Mark Richardson, Dr Ioannis Stavropoulos
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Dr Rhys Thomas
Marburg University – Prof. Dr. Susanne Knake, Dr Felix Zahnert.
United States of America
Nationwide Children’s Hospital – Prof David A Greenberg
Hasbro Children’s Hospital – Dr Rachit Patil
Who has reviewed this study?

This study is supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and has been reviewed by scientific experts and the South Central – Oxford C Research Ethics Committee.


If you would like to find out more about this study, please contact Sylvine Lalnunhlimi ( or  Sarah van den Berg ( by email. We’re now recruiting at the following UK sites:

  • Airedale NHS Foundation Trust
  • Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cardiff & Vale University Health Board
  • County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust
  • East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
  • East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
  • King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHS Grampian
  • NHS Tayside
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
  • St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
  • The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
  • Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
Further information:

About our research

We are a research group from King’s College London dedicated to finding the cause of childhood epilepsies. Our research explores the genetics of childhood epilepsy in order to improve the outlook for both diagnosis and treatment.

Publications has a wide range of research publications, and supporting information documents, for parents of children affected by epilepsy, clinicians and research professionals.


Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy


Changing Agendas on Sleep, Treatment and Learning in Childhood Epilepsy (CASTLE)


mTOR Pathway Diseases