Epilepsy Society says farewell to champion of children with epilepsy Brian Neville

Renowned neurological expert emeritus professor Brian Neville has died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 77, after a long-term illness.

Professor Neville was a pioneer in paediatric neurology and was committed to finding the causes of epilepsy in childhood, striving for early detection and treatment.

Prof. Brian Neville

He was instrumental in the launching buccal midazolam, an emergency treatment for continuing seizures, and was the inaugural Prince of Wales’s Chair of Childhood Epilepsy at UCL Institute of Child Health at Great Ormond Street in 2004. He also initiated a brain surgery programme for childhood epilepsy in 1990.

The Neville Childhood Epilepsy Centre at Young Epilepsy in Lingfield, Surrey, was named after Professor Neville.

Man of vision
Professor Ley Sander, medical director at Epilepsy Society, said: ‘The world of epilepsy owes much to Brian. He was a man of vision who not only understood the impact that epilepsy can have on young children, but dedicated his life to improving diagnosis and treatments for them.

‘He worked tirelessly with physicians, social workers, teachers and, of course, the children themselves to optimise seizure control and minimise the disruption that epilepsy can cause in the brain of developing children. His epilepsy surgery programme has been life changing for many young people.’

Carol Long, chief executive at Young Epilepsy, said, ‘Young Epilepsy would not be the organisation it is now if it hadn’t been for Brian’s vision in recognising the need for a progressive approach to supporting children and young people with epilepsy. We’re indebted to him and his legacy will continue to be apparent for generations to come.’

Transforming lives

Chief executive at Epilepsy Society, Clare Pelham said: ‘Brian Neville was an inspiration. His pioneering work has done much to transform the lives of young people with epilepsy and their families. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time, and also with our friends at Young Epilepsy.’

Professor Brian Neville was one of the first doctors to work with AHC families in the UK and all over the world.