Good Welfare Practice in Modeling Seizures and Epilepsy
© 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Most major jurisdictions have some kind of ethics assessment to ensure animal experiments are humane and that the benefits to humans (and other animals) outweigh the harms to the experimental animals. Almost by definition, diseases are harmful, so realistic disease models are likely to be harmful to the experimental animal. Russell and Burch (1959) made the important distinction between intrinsic harms that are inevitable for the scientific question, and incidental harms that are not, and should be minimized to promote both animal welfare and scientific quality. The most obvious intrinsic harm in epilepsy research is the convulsive seizure, but intrinsic harms also include less obvious nonconvulsive seizures, and the wide range of comorbidities associated with clinical epilepsies. The purpose of this chapter is to review the challenges of identifying and minimizing harms, while delivering the benefits of epilepsy research.