Tohoku University Hospital Launches a Fundraising Campaign for Epilepsy

Tohoku University Hospital's Department of Epileptology, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, seeks funding to start a radio programme centred around supporting epilepsy patients and raising awareness with the general public to reduce misconceptions and prejudices.

The idea for a new radio programme has its origins in the aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Following the disaster, Department Director and Tohoku University Professor Nakasato Nobukazu appeared on FM Sendai for a 10-week special programme to allay the fears of epileptic patients caught up in the tragedy.


Tohoku University Hospital was the first university hospital in the country to set up a specifically designated department on epilepsy. The department utilises the latest technologies and medicines to help treat and diagnose patients with the specific care they need.


Epilepsy is more common than most people think and frequently misunderstood. One in 100 people is diagnosed with epilepsy, with diagnosis occurring anytime throughout a person's lifetime.

Many people think of epileptic seizures as a loss of consciousness, stiff limbs, and a shaking body. However, seizures come in many different forms. Some cause nausea and flickering vision, whilst some symptoms may not even be apparent.

Therefore, raising awareness about this fact enables the public to recognise seizures and be better equipped at responding effectively to someone having a seizure. Greater awareness additionally reduces misunderstanding and prejudices surrounding epilepsy.

Setting up a radio programme represents the next step in generating greater public awareness. In 2015, the Epileptology Department at Tohoku University Hospital began organising Miyagi's Purple Day.


Cassidy Megan, an epileptic patient from Canada, started Purple Day in 2008. Every year on March 26 people wear purple to raise awareness and let epilepsy patients know that they aren't alone. Purple day has since spread to over 100 different countries.


This crowdfunding campaign is the fifth launched between Tohoku University and READYFOR, a company that seeks to facilitate socially orientated projects by connecting individuals and organisations to funds. Since the company's inception, it has helped raise 10 billion yen for over 10,000 projects.

For those willing to donate to the project, a range of gifts are on offer. These include a purple pin badge, key chain, and the epilepsy department teddy bear mascot. A full broadcast schedule for the potential radio program can be found below.

Radio Broadcast Schedule:

Dates: Every Wednesday from August 5, 2020 - October 7, 2020
Time: 10 am to 10:05 am
Radio Station: FM Sendai
Programming Schedule:
1. What is epilepsy?
2. Adult epileptic seizures
3. Child epileptic seizures
4. Testing epilepsy
5. Treating epilepsy
6. Surgical treatment of epilepsy
7. Epilepsy and school
8. Epilepsy and employment
9. Epilepsy in the elderly
10. Living with epilepsy

News in Japanese




For information about the crowdfunding campaign
Tohoku University External Relations Division
Tel: +81-22-217-6290
For information about Purple Day and The Radio Programme
Tohoku University Department of Epileptology
Tel: +81-22-717-7343

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