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Epilepsy News Around the World

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Study could help explain link between seizures and psychiatric disorders

Jeanne Paz, PhD (left) and Alexandra Clemente.
Photo: Chris Goodfellow, Gladstone Institutes

Cells related to seizures, schizophrenia, and ADHD all found in the same region of the brain

Gladstone scientists, led by senior investigator Jeanne Paz, showed that a region of the brain called the reticular thalamus is mainly composed of two different types of neurons, contrary to what was previously believed. The interaction between these two types of neurons could help explain the presence of seizures in patients with schizophrenia, dementia and some forms of autism. More …

Retigabine to be discontinued in June

We have received a reminder notice from GSK that retigabine (Trobalt®/Potiga®) will be removed from clinical use at the end of June. Please discuss the issues with any patient who remains on the medication and how they need to be transitioned to other drugs as clinically indicated. Details here.

Epilepsy and Law in India

Published jointly by the Indian Epilepsy Association and the Indian Epilepsy Society in 2017 and formally released during the inaugural function of the joint Annual conference of the IEA and IES at Patna on February 17, 2017.

The purpose is to make this data readily available to people with epilepsy, their caregivers, physicians, and the general public. Note that the intent is solely to make available the various provisions under the Indian Law. Users must make the final decision about their individual situation after verifying the facts in consultation with the legal experts.

Download and read "Epilepsy and Law" booklet pdf


Seizure Journal offers free issue in celebration of 25th Anniversary

Seizure Journal celebrates 25th anniversary

The 25th anniversary of the founding of a medical journal is a notable milestone and a cause for celebration. Many journals do not survive as long. Seizure — European Journal of Epilepsy has now reached this milestone. If you would like to download a free copy of the 25th anniversary Special Issue containing over 30 fantastic review articles written by well-known international experts please visit epilepsy.org.uk/ilae

We hope that you will enjoy your read and join us in wishing Seizure — European Journal of Epilepsy all the very best for the next quarter century and beyond. Please feel free to pass this invitation to any colleagues or others who may be interested in reading the anniversary issue of Seizure

Markus Reuber, Editor-in-Chief, Seizure — European Journal of Epilepsy
Philip Lee, Chief Executive, Epilepsy Action

NIH Awards $21 Million to Research Consortium to Study Epilepsy in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injuries

An international consortium of academic research institutions have been awarded a $21 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop better ways to prevent epilepsy in patients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

The grant will be led by seven principal investigators at five institutions: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, University of Melbourne and University of Eastern Finland. Read more…

New CDC Report: Risk Factors of Epilepsy Outcomes: Comorbidities in a Population with Epilepsy

CDC report

This report describes outcomes from the South Carolina Epilepsy Surveillance System (SCESS). The SCESS is the only statewide epilepsy surveillance system based on administrative data, coordinated by the Medical University of South Carolina and state agencies, with CDC support (FY02-FY14). SCESS estimates incidence, prevalence, mortality, and associated risk factors, access to care/specialty care, and sociodemographic characteristics, using existing statewide ICD-9-CM coded data sets (2000-2014) representing: hospitalizations, hospital ED visits, and physician office visits.

Executive summary | SCESS project resources & reports | SCESS references


Epilepsy Alliance Europe announces website

Epilepsy Alliance Europe, a not-for-profit organization established under the auspices of the ILAE and the IBE, has launched a new website, EpilepsyAllianceEurope.org.

Read more about the organization and the website in the October 2016 newsletter


ICCN Deadline extended

ICCN 2018 Washington DC

1-6 May 2018
31st International Congress of Clinical Neurophysiology (ICCN)

of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (IFCN)
Washington, DC, USA

Session proposal submission deadline extended to 15 November 2016

ICCN 2018 Website

Opportunity to Comment on H2020 - Deadline 15 January 2017

The European Commission has just launched a public stakeholder consultation which will feed into the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020, available at http://ec.europa.eu/research/consultations/interim_h2020_2016/consultation_en.htm

This is an opportunity for members of our community to express their view on how the H2020 framework program has contributed to epilepsy research. Unlike the previous FP7 framework program where epilepsy was selectively targeted, H2020 is not disease-oriented, resulting in calls on broad topics such as chronic non communicable diseases, where epilepsy projects would have to compete with conditions such as Stroke, Alzheimer disease, Depression, Schizophrenia, Cardiovascular diseases, Diabetes or Cancer. All these conditions benefit from a much greater publication track record and research support than epilepsy, making competition within the same call extremely challenging.

Putting Epilepsy in the Picture

International Epilepsy Day

Art Competition to celebrate International Epilepsy Day 2017 – Monday 13th February
Deadline for entries 31 December 2016

This competition is open to everyone! All are encouraged to take part in this great event so that, together, we can raise awareness about epilepsy on International Epilepsy Day.

Prizes: Under 12 years: 1st place US$500; 2 runners-up of US$250 each. Over 12 years: 1st place US$500; 2 runners-up of US$250 each. In addition, all entries received will be placed in a gallery on the Epilepsy Day website | Competition rules | Entry form

Opportunity for high-level epilepsy experts to join an important EU Working Group and influence epilepsy research funding

The European Commission offers an opportunity to have a concrete influence on the direction of EU research policies by inviting those interested to apply to the High Level Group on maximizing the impact of EU Research and Innovation programmes. The group will be formed with regard to an interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 that the Commission is planning to carry out by the end of 2017. The Commission will invite a High Level Group of personalities and authoritative experts to draw strategic conclusions on maximising the impact of EU Research and Innovation programmes in the future and formulate a vision for future EU Research and Innovation.

This presents a genuine opportunity for the brain space to get actively involved in shaping not only the evaluation of Horizon 2020, but also the direction of the H2020 successor — the shape of the next EU Framework Programme will be closely related to the evaluation of H2020.
Given the importance of the above, you are strongly encouraged to apply, following these steps:

  1. Register on the following website by 9 September 2016: https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal4/desktop/en/experts/index.html
  2. Send an e-mail to RTD-A5-SUPPORT@ec.europa.eu confirming your interest with your Name, Surname, Expert ID (starting with EX...)
  3. Fill out this short survey: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/HLG_Interim_evaluation_H2020

Advance notice of Trobalt®/Potiga® discontinuation

The ILAE has been informed that GlaxoSmithKline has made the decision to discontinue Trobalt/Potiga (retigabine/ezogabine) from all markets in which the product is currently still available. This decision has been reached based on the very limited usage of the medicine in patients with epilepsy and the continued decline in new patient initiation. The decision has not been driven by the identification of a new safety issue, or the conclusion that the risk/benefit of the product is no longer acceptable in its licensed indication. Trobalt/Potiga will remain available to existing epilepsy patients until the end of June 2017 to enable identification of an appropriate alternative where required, after which the license will be withdrawn. In the meantime HCPs are being advised to start transitioning their patients off the medicine. More information about discontinuation …


Epilepsy League supports innovative research project English version  English
Epilepsie-Liga unterstützt innovatives Forschungsprojekt German version  German

Jean�Marc Fritschy and Tilo Gschwind
Jean-Marc Fritschy (left) and Tilo Gschwind

Prof. Jean-Marc Fritschy and Tilo Gschwind of the University of Zurich have been awarded this year‘s Research Grant of CHF 25,000 by the Swiss League Against Epilepsy. With the help of innovative optogenetics, the researchers are investigating the development of epilepsy and paving the way for new treatment methods.

Two awards open to bidding:
In the coming year, the Swiss League Against Epilepsy will once again support research into epilepsy: with its annual Research Grant of CHF 25,000. It offers start-up funding for research projects for the advancement of experimental or clinical research in the field of epileptology.
Further application information: German version  German | German version  French

Call for nominations for the 2017 Michael Prize

Michael Prize

The Michael Prize is one of the most highly regarded international awards for the best contribution to scientific and clinical research which promote further developments in epileptology. Awarded biennially, it is specially designed to attract scientists not older than 45 years of age. Submission deadline: 31 December, 2016.



Elio Lugaresi (1926 – 2015)

Elio Lugaresi obituary

Prof. Elio Lugaresi passed away on December 22, 2015 in his 89th year. His passing leaves many in the neurologic community reflecting on his enormous legacy to the discipline. Elio Lugaresi's career was devoted to the study of neurology, neurophysiology, epilepsy, and above all sleep in all its aspects, a passion he pursued well into retirement.

Prof. Lugaresi was Ambassador for Epilepsy for the International League against Epilepsy from 1979, a corresponding member of the American Neurological Association and honorary Member of the Association for Sleep Disorders Centers, the German EEG Society, Société Française de Neurologie, Spanish League against Epilepsy, Italian Society of Sleep Medicine and the American Sleep Disorders Association.

Hanneke de Boer (1946 – 2015)

Hanneke de Boer obituary

When Hanneke de Boer died peacefully in her own home after a long illness faced with great dignity a light was extinguished on a life devoted to sufferers with epilepsy. Hanneke was one of the longest serving and greatest advocates of people with epilepsy of all ages, not only in her much loved country, The Netherlands, but across the world…



Yes I can! Photo competition for International Epilepsy Day - 8 February 2016

Yes I Can Photo Competition

Enter the new photo competition for International Epilepsy Day 2016. The theme is "Yes, I can," to demonstrate achievement in overcoming obstacles, or achievement despite obstacles. The best photographs will form the International Epilepsy Day exhibition, taking place in the European Parliament in Strasbourg from Monday 1st to Friday 5th February 2016. All entries will also be placed in a gallery on the International Epilepsy Day website www.epilepsy.org.

Winners will receive US $1,000, and will be awarded in two categories: Photos taken with regular cameras, and photos taken with smartphones or tablets. All photos must be of high resolution; should reflect "the feeling of achievement;" and must include the hashtag #epilepsyday in some way. Read complete competition rules and guidelines.


SUDEP Awareness Day 23 October 2015: Are you SUDEP savvy?

SUDEP Awareness Day

SUDEP Awareness Day was created by UK charity SUDEP Action and is dedicated to raising awareness of SUDEP all around the world. It was launched last year and was supported by 45 epilepsy organisations from around the world. SUDEP Awareness Day is celebrated annually on 23 October.

The day is aimed at:

  • encouraging people with epilepsy to learn about SUDEP and their individual risk
  • focusing on ways people can manage their epilepsy in order to manage their risk
  • highlighting the need for more research into SUDEP which could help save lives
  • raising awareness of SUDEP amongst the general public
  • commemorating the lives of all those who have died from the condition

SUDEP Awareness Day Website

World Stroke Day 2015: Stroke affects women, stroke affects everyone.

World Stroke Day

World Stroke Day is on Thursday the 29th October 2015. The World Stroke Organization's theme for World Stroke Day 2015 is "I am Woman." The World Stroke Organization is calling on communities and individuals to use World Stroke Day to show they care. Share information about stroke prevention and ask the women in your community and your life to have a health check to avoid preventable stroke and cardiovascular disease.

World Stroke Day Proclamation | World Stroke Campaign

Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy: Mechanisms and New Methods for Analyzing Risks

Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy

This book presents a methodology for identifying and classifying lusters of risks that lead to SUDEP. Developed over the last two years, the SUDEP Classification System and Risk Factor Cluster ID method will help to address gaps in our knowledge about the causes and possible prevention of this tragic complication.

Edited by: Claire M. Lathers, Paul L. Schraeder, Jan E. Leestma, Braxton B. Wannamaker, Richard L. Verrier, Steven C Schachter, M.D.

More information, sample content, and how to order

Epilepsy News Around the World Archive

Read older World Epilepsy News items here.

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