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Utopian lab: Epilepsy

Epilepsy can present symptomatically in a variety of different ways, with different patterns of epileptic seizure affecting different people. This not only makes epilepsy difficult to diagnose, it render these experiences of different epilepsy patients unique. 

In the course of its epilepsy-based research, Richardson Lab attempted to study the brain as an entire functioning system. Using brain-scanning techniques such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and electroencephalography (EEG), researchers record images and electrical activity from the brain. 

This audio-visual installation presented the MRI and EEG results of an epileptic group of patients and compared them to results of a non-epileptic (control) group. Alongside this data, recordings played in which epilepsy patients recounted their personal experiences with the disease. These combined outputs drew together existing struggles in the treatment and management of a disease which evades strict definition, and the hope of both patients and researchers, that in the future everyone will be free of this condition that debilitates both mind and body. 

Project lead

Amber Collingwood is the project manager of a five-year MRC Programme of Clinical Epilepsy Research at King’s College London, under the leadership of Professor Mark Richardson, Vice-Dean for the Division of Neuroscience.

Utopian lab


This project was part of the Utopian lab, a contemporary glimpse of the Health Faculties at King’s College London. The crusade to understand, save and compliment the human body and mind was the spirit of Utopia itself, uniting cultures, defining humanity and standing on the shoulders of giants.

Rotating through the different stories of present day work day work being carried out across the Health Faculties at King’s College London, Utopian lab was a snapshot of the future with roots firmly planted in King’s College Hospital’s past: a workhouse on the Strand that was propelled to notoriety by the surgery work of Joseph Lister in the late 19th century. 

‘I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results’ – Florence Nightingale




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