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Information Officer Report

Simon Shorvon

Dr Edward H. Bertram, III was appointed to take over the position of ILAE Information Officer from July 2007, and this is my last report in the post, which I have held since its inception in 1997. The Information Officer is a member of the ILAE Executive Committee, and has oversight of three main ILAE activities — the ILAE Web site, Epigraph and the ILAE archive.

ILAE Web Site
The ILAE Web site was initiated in 2000, and the Information Officer is responsible for its content and development. The technical management of the Web site is run by the ILAE office in Hartford. In 2006, this task was undertaken by Mr Christer Osterling and his colleagues, and in May 2007, Christer retired from the Hartford office and a new project manager will be appointed. Over the past five years, the current site has been progressively built up. Efforts were concentrated initially on providing details of the ILAE and its various activities, and this task is now largely complete. The Web site has more recently focused on providing facilities which are concerned more generally with epilepsy — for instance the antiepileptic drug database, bibliography of epilepsy books, epilepsy dictionary, press room, etc). In 2006, an interactive section for ILAE members (the discussion group) was added. Over the years, the Web site has grown and has attracted increasing traffic and now has about 350,000 visitors each year. The Web site is an important shop window of ILAE activity, and has the potential to expand greatly in this role. During 2006 and early 2007, the following additions were made:

  • An ongoing program of updates for existing pages and content
  • Discussion Group (launched in February 2006 following a series of pilot runs) The Discussion Group is for ILAE members only and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas, opinion and information.
  • Regional landing pages –launched in 2006 These have included:
    Global Campaign regional declarations and Reports from Region Meetings
  • Epilepsy Bibliography (online in January 2007) This has been launched in collaboration with Dr Fukuyama who has kindly provided the contentwhich has been transformed into a fully searchable database.
  • AED Database – This module, based on work by Professor Robert Fisher, is also fully searchable and provides a listing of antiepileptic drug availability and naming throughout the world.
  • A new epilepsy.org page which serves as a portal to the ILAE and IBE sites.
  • Epilepsia page redesigned and linked to the Blackwell Synergy Web site.
  • Medlink — This content is in the process of being added to the Classification and Terminology Task Force page.
  • Global Campaign Against Epilepsy – This page was revamped in 2006.

EPIGRAPH
The newsletter of the ILAE was launched in 1994. I was appointed the first Editor and chose the alliterative title Epigraph deliberately as the newsletter was intended from its inception to provide, with a light touch, short and informal summaries (inscriptions) of ILAE activities. It has also, since its inception, attempted to act as a topical ILAE newsletter and to include occasional features of general interest to an epilepsy audience, to be interactive and to provide a means by which the ILAE Center could communicate with members worldwide. It was initially printed twice a year in two colors, and then from 1999 in full color. In 2006, Epigraph moved to four issues a year (three on-line and one print edition). The move to online publications has facilitated the distribution of the newsletter to its target audience. The 2006 issues contained the following content:

  • Issue 4 2006: From the Information Officer, An Epilepsy Network in Rural Mali, A Recognition for A French-Senegalese Epilepsy Project, The Centenary History of the ILAE and Historical Archive, Report of IV Workshop of Global Campaign Epilepsy Out of the Shadows: Brazilian Demonstration Project, Applications Are Invited for the Post of ILAE Information Officer, Does Anyone Have Back Copies of Epilepsia Between 1959-1990?, East Mediterranean Epilepsy Congress Re-scheduled, Michael Prize 2005/2006, Morris-Coole Prize, Most Recent Topics in the Discussion Groups, Episcope, A Historical Note, Upcoming Congresses, Other Meetings
  • Issue 3 2006: From The Information Officer, ILAE-IBE-WHO Global Campaign Against Epilepsy, An Update from the Treasurer, ILAE Launches On-Line Discussion Group, Episcope, A Historical Note, Amytal, ILAE Welcomes New Staff Member to Brussels Office, 1st North American Regional Epilepsy Congress, 4th Latin American Congress on Epilepsy, 6th Asian & Oceanian Epilepsy Congress, EUREPA, 5th International Course on Epilepsy: Surgically Remediable Epilepsies, 1st London Colloquium on Status Epilepticus
  • Issue 2 2006: How to Join the International League Against Epilepsy, ILAE: A Primer, ILAE Chapter List, Commissions and Task Forces, 2005-09 Executive Committee, 2006 ILAE Regional Congresses, Epigraph Online, ILAE Web Site, ILAE Adds Online Discussion Group to Site, Schwartzkroin and Shorvon Appointed as Epilepsia Editors, Discounted Subscriptions for ILAE Members, Out of the Shadows, the Global Campaign Against Epilepsy
  • Issue 1 2006:  Epigraph Goes Electronic for the First Time, ILAE Discussion, New Joint Editors-in-Chief of Epilepsia, Peter Wolf Addresses Delegates at the AES, Commission on the Development of Epilepsy Care, ILAE meetings in Washington, Photos From EIC in Paris, Dues Solidarity Fund, Summer School in Venice, 6th AOEC Moves to Malaysia, Upcoming Regional Congresses

ILAE Archive
In 2004, it was also decided to centralize ILAE archives in the Swiss Epilepsy Center in Zurich. This was achieved over the subsequent years and in 2006, the ordering, archiving and indexing of the ILAE archive was completed by Mrs Giselle Weiss. An index has been prepared for uploading on to the ILAE Web site in a fully searchable form.

Dr Edward H. Bertram, III

It is a great pleasure to announce the appointment of Ed Bertram to take over the position of Information Officer from July 2007. Dr Bertram is a wonderful choice and I have no doubt the information office will go from strength to strength under his tutelage. He is professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Virginia, where he trained under the late Fritz Dreifuss and Eric Lothman.  His clinical activities focus exclusively on epilepsy and his laboratory research has included the defining of the circuitry of the various epilepsies, determining the role the different components of the circuit play in the initiation and spread of seizures and the development of new approaches to therapy. Ed has an international perspective, and in the past he worked in the Netherlands and Germany, and as a child lived for several years in Nepal.

 

Simon Shorvon
Information Officer

   

 

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