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Tuesday, August 10, 1999 Published at 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK


On-line community for epilepsy

The website will foster a community atmosphere

The British Epilepsy Association has launched a website designed to develop a supportive on-line community for people with the disorder.

Organisers hope the website, BEA-Connect, will prove to be both a useful research tool and a valuable support aid.

The idea of the website is that it will provide a place for people with epilepsy to socialise, develop their own personal diary and chart their seizures.

By completing a series of questions about all aspects of living with epilepsy, every community member will add information to a database which, in turn, will provide the world's first automatic bank of data on epilepsy.

This information will then be used by researchers, drug companies and health organisations to create better services and treatment for people with epilepsy.

Chat Facility

The website also offers a live virtual chat room and a discussion group area, both designed to help people with epilepsy talk to each other and share their experiences.

In the discussion group area people can read what topics others have set up or set up their own topic. In the chat room the contents entered disappear after 30 minutes.

The website also offers each member a free e-mail address which they can use to send and receive mail within the community as well as outside.

Each community member can set up a confidential personal diary, which has sections to record general health, appointments, changes in medication and seizures.

A chart clearly showing things like changes in medication and seizure frequency is soon to be added.

There will also be opportunities to take part in clinical trials.

A system of safeguards has been put in place to ensure confidentiality.

BEA-Connect is part of a bigger project - to create online communities for a broad cross-section of health conditions.

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The British Epilepsy Association on-line community

British Epilepsy Association homepage

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