A WANTAGE charity attended 10 Downing Street where it launched an appeal for research into a pioneering device which could cut epilepsy deaths.

Experts from SUDEP Action met Samantha Cameron, policy makers and bereaved families at the event, where it appealed for research into a device which alerts carers when people with epilepsy stop breathing during their sleep.

It is thought the miniature Wireless Apnoea Detection Device could alert carers when people with epilepsy suffer dangerous apnoeas, which can cause sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).

Wantage MP Ed Vaizey, who attended the reception in support of the charity, said: “I am very pleased to support SUDEP Action which does such important work in a neglected area of research. It is vital that a condition which affects so many is better understood and that ways to assist those affected, such as the wireless device, are tested and brought into use as soon as possible.”

Epilepsy claims about 1,150 lives in the UK each year, of these about 500 are because of SUDEP, according to the charity. SUDEP Action now needs £165,000 to carry out research with the device on people with epilepsy.