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Commission on Latin American Affairs

Chair and Contact Information

Dr. Juvenal Gutierrez Moctezuma
Insurgentes Sur. No. 421-A-301 - Col - Hipodromo Co
Delegacion Cuauhtemoc
C.P. 6170
Phone: +52 55 64 4326
Fax: +52 55 84 0799

Dr. André Palmini
Corresponding office:
Serviço de Neurologia
Hospital São Lucas da PUCRS
Avenida Ipiranga 6690
90610-000 Porto Alegre-RS
Phone/FAX: +55 51 339 49 36
email: apalmini @conex.com.br

1. Commission meeting in Prague - September 1999

The commission met in Prague, during the International Epilepsy Congress, last September. We reviewed several of our goals but focused on how could we approach, in a more objective way, institutions which could effectively promote developments in epilepsy care in Latin America. We dedicated a lot of time discussing how, for instance, PAHO could influence offical health care programs put forth by Latin American governments. We have to admit that we are far from having a clear idea on what could be done to bridge the gap between what the members feel as high priorities (like the availability of antiepileptic medications through the public health system) and what could be obtained through the available channels of communication with local governments. We decided to create a subcommission to work on this topic, and hope to get going during the next meeting (which will also discuss these issues) next month in Buenos Aires.

2. Special Session on "Epilepsy in Latin america" - IEC - Prague -
September 1999

During the Prague meeting we were successful in organizing a special session entitled as above, included in the official Programme. Several speakers, both members of the Commisssion and other invited Latin American epileptologists, presented their views in terms of education, ethics, research, p atient association, availability of antiepileptic medications, and models of epilepsy care in different health systems. The session had a restricted attendance, but suceeded in the effort to join the epileptologists of the continent to discuss some of the key problems faced by everyone.

3. "Optimal control of epilepsy in developing countries: A Latin American contribution" Workshop, publication, and symposium presentation.

With the sponsorship of Novartis, a forum to debate the several aspects related to optimal control of epilepsy from the perspective of developing countries will be created in Buenos Aires, next May. It will, once more, congregate all members of the ILAE Latin American Commission plus several epileptologists of the continent. This group of 14 epileptologists will each present a specific topic to be openly discussed. The presentations and the discussions which will follow will be the object of a specific publication, to be organized in the ensuing months. In addition, the highlights of this 2-day workshop will be presented to the epileptologic community in a special session during the I Latin American Epilepsy Congress, in Santiago, next September. The topics which will be presented and discussed include:

  • "Optimal control of epilepsy: The desirable and the possible from a syndromic perspective"
  • "The rational use of antiepileptic drugs: What is it, and how to propagate the concept"
  • "Obstacles to the diagnosis of epilepsy and access to the patients to health care in Latin America"
  • "Optimal control and quality of life in epilepsy: How and why to aim beyond seizure control?"
  • "Optimal control in refractory epilepsies"
  • "Optimal control in epilepsy in regard to cognitive functions"
  • "Doctor-patient relationship in public health care in Latin America: Implications for the care of epileptic patients"
  • " Perceptions about epilepsy and people with epilepsy in Latin America: The role of education and of lack of education"
  • "Availability of antiepileptic medications in public health systems: The ideal, the acceptable and the real - Perspectives for a change in the current scenario"
  • "Optimal control of epilepsy in women of childbearing age, during gestation, and during puerperium"
  • "The role and the future of associations of epileptic patients in Latin America"
  • " Ethical aspects in the evaluation of new antiepileptic drugs and in the treatment of epilepsy in Latin America"

4. Latin American Epilepsy Congress - Santiago - Chile – September 2000
The Commission is involved in the organization of this meeting. Thelocal organizers are being extremely dedicated to the success of this initiative, where will be launched the "Latin American Declaration" for the care of epileptic patients and the development of awareness and knowledge about epilepsy in the continent. The meeting will hopefully be both a forum for debate about epilepsy in the continent and a moment of scientific enrichment throgh several activities being organized in conjunction with various ILAE Commissions. We hope the meeting will reach its goals and set the standard for the Latin American Congresses to come.

5. Neuroimaging-in-Epilepsy practical course during IEC- 24, in Buenos Aires
The ILAE Commission for Latin American Affairs and the Subcomission on Neuroimaging would like to take advantage of the 24th International Epilepsy Congress (Buenos Aires, May 2001) to organize an interactive course on Neuroimaging of the Epilepsies (Neuroimaging in Epilepsy: A Practical Course). The idea is to have the members of the Neuroimaging Subcommission and other international experts in the field to organize a comprehensive, detailed course, enriched by interactive teaching tools, aiming at neuroradiologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuropsychologists. The whole idea is to provide specific expertise for people (particularly neuroradiologists) working in medical centers that are being increasingly equpped with facilities to perform more or less advanced structural and functional neuroimaging in epilepsy patients. There are many neuroradiologists heading departments throughout the developing world who are not familiar with the practical details of the neuroimaging evaluation of the epilepsies. Bridging this gap would enhance patient evaluation, promote surgical treatment programs and research and development into epilepsy.

We are currently seeking sponsorship for this activity, after having obtained the approval and the support of the local organizers. Should this activity be confirmed, it is expected to be a 2-day course on the Saturday and the Sunday just before the opening of the Congress.

Annual Report 2000 Table of Contents





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