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World Health Organization (WHO) and Epilepsy

The Executive Board of the World Health Organization has unanimously approved a strong resolution in support of improving epilepsy care and research.

The resolution – Global burden of epilepsy and the need for coordinated action at the country level to address its health, social and public knowledge implications – was formally sponsored by the People's Republic of China, the Russian Federation, the Maldives, Argentina, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan and Panama.

Next Step

The resolution will be presented at the WHO General Assembly in May for final approval. Once approved it will become a formal policy of the WHO so that the fight against epilepsy becomes a truly global effort.


World Health Organization - WHO

WHO programme on reducing the epilepsy treatment gap
WHO and Epilepsy

WHO video Epilepsy: Treat it, Defeat it

Please help this resolution succeed: Encourage your governments to support and co-sponsor the resolution at the WHO Assembly in May.

News from ILAE                                                                  All news
International Epilepsy Congress 2015 Istanbul

31st International Epilepsy Congress

5 - 9 September, 2015 | Istanbul, Turkey

Abstract Deadline 6 March

Abstract deadline extended 1 week to 6 March, 2015. Submit abstract here.

Submission rules and more information on the Congress website


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News Around the World                                                      All news

Karen Gale (1948-2014)

Karen Gale

The epilepsy community lost a truly unique and powerful voice with the recent death of Karen Gale, Professor of Pharmacology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and one of the founders and the director of the Georgetown Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience. Karen had a research agenda that was as wide as her active intellect, and her recent work on the comorbidities of epilepsy including deleterious effects of antiepileptic compounds on neural development has stimulated great discussion within the epilepsy community. Although Dr. Gale left an indelible mark as a researcher and educator, she is perhaps best known as a stalwart advocate for faculty, students and staff.
Read Karen Gale's obituary.

Innovative Medicines Initiative

Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)

Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) 2 has just launched its 3rd call for proposals. The first topic on the call is titled RADAR: Remote Assessment of Disease and Relapse programme, which is exploring ways to ensure that the healthcare system moves from a ‘diagnose and treat’ stance to a ‘predict and pre-empt’ approach. The first application will be in CNS and epilepsy is specifically mentioned. Submission deadline: 24 March, 2015. Funding opportunities flyer | Call for proposals

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Clinical Research News                                                        All news

IQ at 6 years after in utero exposure to antiepileptic drugs: A controlled cohort study

Researchers recruited children born to women with epilepsy (n = 243) and women without epilepsy (n = 287) during pregnancy and followed them prospectively to delineate the risk to child IQ associated with frequently prescribed antiepileptic drugs. Also see related editorial, "Fine-tuning risk assessment with antiepileptic drug use in pregnancy."

No evidence for human papillomavirus infection in focal cortical dysplasia IIb

The aetiology of Focal Cortical Dysplasia Type IIb (FCDIIb) remains enigmatic in patients suffering from drug-resistant epilepsy, and an aberrant activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 signalling pathway (mTORC1) was detectedin this developmental brain malformation. Recently, the human papillomavirus (HPV) oncoprotein E6 has been identified as a potent activator of mTORC1. In this study, the authors tried to confirm two previous reports of HPV16 E6 infection using an independent series of 14 surgical specimens with histopathologically confirmed FCDIIb. (Annals of Neurology DOI: 10.1002/ana.24328)

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Basic Science of Epilepsy News                                           All news
Focus on Epilepsy in Nature Neuroscience

Targeting pharmacoresistant epilepsy and epileptogenesis with a dual-purpose antiepileptic drug

Caret image Summary for non-specialists

The authors of a recent study examined whether eslicarbazepine acetate (ESL) could target refractoriness to AEDs in addition to halting epileptogenesis. Using tissue resected from individuals with refractory epilepsy and pilocarpine- treated rodents, they found that ESL conferred use-dependent blockade of Na+ channels, hence alluding to its potential role in decreasing refractoriness. ESL was also found to block CaV3.2 calcium channels, mossy fiber sprouting and decrease neurodegeneration, hence having a likely beneficial role in slowing epileptogenesis. (Brain (2015) 138 (2): 371-387)

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Chapter Spotlight:

Liga Portuguesa Contra Epilepsia (LPCE)

The Liga Portuguesa Contra Epilepsia (LPCE) has been very active recently, sponsoring technical and scientific events and educational initiatives, as well as being active in health policy initiatives.

Caret image Read about the Portuguese League's activities


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Definition of Epilepsy 2014 - New definition and commentaries.

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