6, Issue 8 August 2010
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Upcoming grant cycles, epilepsy-related Hallway Conversations, conferences, symposia, and events include:
NEW THERAPY GRANTS (NTG)
The mission of the New Therapy Grants program is to drive the development of new therapies for epilepsy, accelerating the advancement of research from the laboratory to the patient.
Fall 2010 Funding Cycle:
Letter of Intent (LOI) is due by September 3, 2010. If LOI is accepted, application is due: October 8, 2010.
Click here to apply
August 26-29, 2010
National Conference on Epilepsy Treatment by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China
ACCELERATION – 2009 ANNUAL REPORT
The Epilepsy Therapy Project's mission is to make new treatments a reality – rapidly for the 50 million people throughout the world and the 3 million people in the U.S. living with epilepsy and seizures.
Read acceleration online
To all of our readers and visitors to Epilepsy.com Professionals, I wish you the best of August. At this point, many individuals are winding down vacations to locations far and near and oftentimes this involves international travel. One of the issues that arises with international travel to some areas is that it requires prophylactic care from endemic diseases, especially when visiting the developing world. On a recent trip that I undertook to such a country, I was surprised by the number of vaccinations and suggestions that were provided to me by my physician with regards to strategies on how to keep safe and healthy. This made me wonder what special issues and challenges those with epilepsy outside of western industrialized nations must consider. There is a significant difference between the causes of seizures and epilepsy outside the industrialized US and the so called " third world". Interestingly, parasitic infections are the most common causes of seizures and epilepsy. In fact, the list of infections that may cause epilepsy is somewhat long. However, as our borders continue to become more porous and the world truly becomes a small global community, encountering epilepsy from such causes is more commonplace.
In this month's Epilepsy Currents, Gretchen L. Birbeck outlines an excellent overview which is the first-part of a two-part article entitled, "The Issues of Epilepsy Care in Developing Countries." The article is found in the July/August Epilepsy Currents, which can be easily accessed from the Epilepsy.com/Professionals homepage. I highly recommend you reading it. A common epilepsy related infection that I often encounter in my own practice from living in the southwest is neurocysticercosis. This scary sounding name arises from infection from the tapeworm, taenia solium. Taenia solium's primary host are pigs. Human exposure is by either eating undercooked pork with the tapeworm eggs, or more commonly, simply the lack of a good handwashing when handling food. The sad fact about these common causes of epilepsy is just how preventable they are. Indeed, quoting from Dr. Birbeck's article in "Epilepsy Care in Developing Countries, "poor sanitation may be the single most important social factor underlying the increased prevalence of epilepsy in tropical and developing countries." Even now, Benjamin Frankin's aphorsim on prevention is germane to modern times, An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." With the rise of global air travel and immigration that occurs throughout the world, it is not a surprise to see an increased rise in epilepsy related to this condition even here in the US.
In order to help define the next step, we are devoting an Epilepsy.com Hallway Conversation to the topic. Jose Cavazos, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Texas, San Antonio will join us later in the month ( August 17) to help discuss some of the issues associated with the diagnosis and treatment of this increasingly common cause of seizures in the United States. In addition, Dr. Stephen White from the University of Utah joined us on Hallway Conversations (August 12) to discuss antiepileptic drug development. We hope that wherever your travels take you, that you have a safe and relaxing time during this last month of summer. We hope that find this material useful for your practice and for the betterment of your patient's quality of life.