The Cindarella phenomenon – epilepsy genetics is lagging behind, as shown by PubMed

This is a slide that I have used in some of my presentations.  If you look at the citations for epilepsy, autism and schizophrenia in Nature, Science and Nature Genetics, you will see this pattern:  The run of papers in 2000-2001 corresponding to the era of the monogenic epilepsies and the 2007-2009 era, when papers on schizophrenia and autism overtake the publications on epilepsy.  The 2007-2009 peak for autism and schizophrenia is mainly due to the identification of rare CNVs in these disorders, a research strategy that has only been applied to the epilepsies more recently.

This widening gap between autism, schizophrenia research and epilepsy research is the Cinderella phenomenon as a reference to a statement by William G. Lennox:

“Epilepsy is no longer the Cinderella of medicine.  The electroencephalograph is her glass slipper.” William G. Lennox, 1947


EuroEPINOMICS – Development of a social media strategy – Neurobloggers wanted!

Dear all,

as discussed in Strassbourg, we have taken the initiative to represent EuroEPINOMICS in the social media sphere.  This is why we have asked you to read this blog rather than adding all the information in an email.

EuroEPINOMICS now has a blog, a Facebook page, an Anymeeting account for webcasts and –almost most importantly- a Twitter account (You can find the links at the bottom of the page).  We have already invited some of the groups to follow us on Twitter and we would like to thank the Dianalund and Tübingen group at this point for being our first followers.

Many of you might not have heard of Twitter and blogging for scientific use yet, but social media is increasingly important in the scientific field.  Twitter, a microblogging platform with messages limited to 160 characters allows you to “follow” other scientists and read their newsfeeds.  We have posted recent publications on epilepsy genes on Twitter as well as other interesting links for people from the consortium.

Examples for Twitter in Science

Two examples might give you an idea of how Twitter can be used. In 2009, Cell published a paper on “Should you be tweeting”, indicating that Twitter is getting more and more popular in the field.  All major journals have Twitter accounts and EuroEPINOMICS is currently following Nature, Science etc.  In addition, we have already found some interesting papers through Twitter, including a recent Nature paper on gene expression in the human brain during development [1] and a ground-breaking article on “jumping genes” in the Central Nervous System [2].  I would have missed these papers, otherwise.  Tweeting has become so important in some fields that the Society for Neuroscience 2011 meeting has selected official neurobloggers for the different topics (,, by the way, is a popular link shortener on Twitter).  On, we have also added some interesting links on the impact of social media on science as well as some links for measures of scientific productivity and bibliometics.


In Strassbourg, we have also agreed to start a blog on epilepsy genetics.  We have created the current page that you are looking at and we have already uploaded many of the old 2009 blogs that we had initially created in an earlier attempt of neuroblogging.  It would be great if every CRP could identify one person who will coordinate the blog entries.  If we share the task and aim for one blog per week, we could rotate in writing blogs and every group would only be asked once every six months or so.


We might consider working on a common web-based journal and we have created an Anymeeting account for this.  Anymeeting allows you to stream webcasts (online presentations you can watch on your computer) and record them for later use.  Please indicate if you are interested in this, as well. is free, but comes with adds.  We might want to upgrade to a better system once this is running.

Developing a social media strategy for EuroEPINOMICS

EuroEPINOMICS has some funds for dissemination and networking and we would be happy to discuss a strategy on how we can use social media for dissemination and networking activities.  It would be great if we could have a group of five to ten individuals in charge of this, who could possibly meet early next year and prepare a network activity application for social media (estimated volume 15,000 Euro).   This might be particular interesting for junior scientists.

What YOU can do right now

1.)   Sign up on Twitter, follow us and retweet our tweets (@euroepinomics)

2.)   Indicate if you would like to be part of a EuroEPINOMICS social media team

3.)   Let us know who in your group might contribute a blog (including topic)

4.)   Tell us if you would be interested in a consortium-wide web-based journal club.

Best wishes,



The EuroEPINOMICS blog

The EuroEPINOMICS tweets

The EuroEPINOMICS Facebook

The EuroEPINOMICS webinar


1. Kang, H.J., et al., Spatio-temporal transcriptome of the human brain. Nature, 2011. 478(7370): p. 483-9.

2. Baillie, J.K., et al., Somatic retrotransposition alters the genetic landscape of the human brain. Nature, 2011.