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Epigraph Issue 1, Winter 2006


Epigraph – ILAE Launches Its Newsletter in a New Online Format

Epigraph – the newsletter of the International League Against Epilepsy – was launched in 1994. It was a novel concept for the league, and – for the first time in the League’s history – Epigraph provided a conduit for the transmission of ILAE information from the ILAE centre to its chapter members around the world. It struck a chord and in the past 10 years has continued with 2-3 editions a year and has retained throughout this period the same format, design, distribution method and the same editorial approach. Time, though, moves on, and in the past decade the rapid rise of online communication has rendered paper newsletters somewhat redundant. Furthermore, in the past four years, the ILAE Website (www.ilae-epilepsy.org) has been developed to the extent that it has become the primary source of information about the ILAE. Epigraph had, in the view of some, become rather tired in format and content, and certainly its distribution lists had become progressively out of date.

At a meeting of the ILAE Website Task Force in October, therefore, the relative roles of Epigraph and of www.ilae-epilepsy.org were debated and a number of decisions were made. It was decided to retain Epigraph, as it was felt that ILAE continued to need a mechanism to communicate directly with its members – and Epigraph meets this need. However, we also recognized that the mailing of a print edition was wasteful of expense and materials – and that a far more efficient method would be via email. A decision was therefore made to convert Epigraph to become an essentially on-line newsletter, with its format changed accordingly and also to link Epigraph to the website far more closely. 

The publishing plan is as follows. Epigraph will now come out in three online issues each year (winter, summer and autumn), with a single additional print edition published in the spring for inclusion in conference bags of the ILAE regional and international conferences. The three online issues will be emailed to members at their individual addresses, thereby cutting out postal and production costs, and the vagaries of the postal systems.

What you see on your email is largely an annotated index with links to articles and information on the ILAE website. The small size of the email will allow rapid opening and the reader can choose quickly what to read. Simply clicking on the links will lead to the relevant page on the website.

Epigraph (via its Website links) will contain, as before, ILAE news, articles and information about ILAE activities and conferences, and links to its publications and administration. A new regular feature - Episcope, A Historical Note, will be included in each online edition. Occasional longer feature articles on topics related to epilepsy will be included.

As before, readers are welcome to submit articles at any time for consideration for publication in Epigraph, and we hope that these changes will enhance communication from ILAE for the benefit of all its members.

Simon Shorvon, Editor of Epigraph and ILAE Information Officer

Schwartzkroin and Shorvon Appointed as Epilepsia Editors

On 31st December 2005, Robert S. Fisher stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of Epilepsia.  Dr. Fisher has helped guide Epilepsia to a prominent position as one of the elite neurological journals, and the academic epilepsy community owes him much gratitude for his erudite and effective leadership. As the official journal of ILAE, Epilepsia reflects the extraordinary breadth of the epilepsy research community, as well as its geographical diversity.  These are features that we, the new editors, hope to maintain and further expand.

Epilepsia’s priority will remain the publication of high quality science that contributes to our knowledge about, and treatment of, epilepsy.  As new editors, Simon Shorvon and I invite submissions from all parts of the world, covering all aspects of epilepsy investigation. We are committed to the broad dissemination of epilepsy information and provocative discussion. These goals will be met via high quality peer review, rapid turn-around time, and expedited processing of articles of particular import and interest.  The Journal will be dedicated, first and foremost, to the publication of original research papers in clinical and basic science aspects of epilepsy. In addition, Epilepsia will feature reviews on topical issues, as well as editorial commentary that stimulates discussion and debate. As the journal of ILAE, Epilepsia will feature general interest reports from ILAE Commissions.  Reports from epilepsy-relevant conferences and workshops will also contribute to the educational mission of the Journal.  As in the past, the Epilepsia supplements will provide “added value” to the Journal subscription.

While the position of Epilepsia seems tranquil and secure, it is increasingly apparent to Simon Shorvon and me as incoming editors that the general landscape of academic publishing is changing rapidly. The development of internet technology has provoked vigorous discussion about open-access publishing and led to many issues – scientific, political, and financial – regarding traditional methods of print publication. Epilepsia will, inevitably, change in response to these pressures. It is our job as editors to make those changes proactively, with thoughtful deliberation and input from the Journal’s readership.  Change and innovation will be carried out within the context of our mission - to maintain the highest scientific standards for the Journal, and to make epilepsy knowledge widely available to the international epilepsy community.

Epilepsia plays a special role in the epilepsy academic community. Our goal is to maintain Epilepsia as the premier journal for clinical epilepsy papers, as well as for basic science research in particular areas of translational neuroscience.  Epilepsia should be the first choice journal – for epilepsy specialists as well as for biomedical researchers in related disciplines – as a source of leading-edge information in the field.  Through the efforts of the professionals that use the Journal, Epilepsia can become an active player in the advancement of epilepsy research and treatment.  We are grateful for the opportunity to lead these efforts, and look forward to broad participation from you, our colleagues.

Phil Schwartzkroin, Joint Editor-in-Chief, Epilepsia


Episcope, A Historical Note

Episcope, A Historical Note, is a new feature which will appear in each issue of Epigraph. Each article will feature a paper of historical interest published in Epilepsia since its inception in 1909. The Episcope feature aims to provide a brief context to the article and its author, and will be linked (by a simple click of a mouse) to the full text of the paper which is freely accessible online. In this way, we hope to encourage readers to read the original papers, and to learn more about the contribution of ILAE to epilepsy. In this issue, we choose an article published in 1938:  

LJJ Muskens. A short history of the first period of activity of the International League Against Epilepsy. Epilepsia 1938 2nd series – vol 1 p82-87 http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1528-1157.1938.tb00333.x

This article was chosen to initiate Episcope, as it is itself a retroscopic view of the activities in the International League Against Epilepsy in its first period from 1909 to 1914. In 1909 the League was founded in an atmosphere of optimism, and with a vision which has remained essentially unchanged to this day. As A Marie, the first ILAE president wrote in the first edition of Epilepsia“ .. le programme est vaste et grandiose, bien susceptible de passionner les philanthropes et les savants de tous pays.”. The main activities of the league were the publication of Epilepsia and the organisation of annual or biannual conferences. However, the coming of war in 1914 resulted in the abrupt termination of ILAE activity and the cessation of Epilepsia which went into hibernation until 1938. The premature termination of this phase of the development of Epilepsia was a calamity for science and epilepsy, and the article briefly describes the history of the ILAE during this period.

LJJ Musken’s from Amsterdam was an indefatigable worker for the ILAE in this first period and the first editor of Epilepsia. He was a distinguished epileptologist, who laid the foundations for the study of epilepsy in Holland which has remained at the forefront of Dutch neurology to this day. His book ‘EPILEPSY’ remains a classic of its day (LJJ Muskens. Epilepsy (English edition, with preface by CS Sherrington). Ballière London 1928). This article was the last he wrote, and was published shortly after his death.

Peter Wolf Addresses Delegates at AES Annual Meeting

Professor Wolf discussed his two most important priorities as President, which will be carried about by two new commissions…Commission for Education and the Commission for Epilepsy Care.

According to Professor Wolf, education was the clue for any development, and the experiences with the European Epilepsy Academy, especially a tutored distance learning program would now be globalized. Other methods in the organization of education had been developed by the Educational Committee of the AES, and we had met and agreed to bring our experiences together. The global educational program of the ILAE would require a “Faculty of 500”, and quite a few AES members had already expressed their readiness to make themselves available as teachers and tutors. Professor Wolf invited those who have an interest in joining the Faculty to contact him through AES Executive Director Suzanne Berry.

Professor Wolf discussed the mission of the Commission for Epilepsy Care, which is to vitalize and regionalize the Global Campaign against Epilepsy and to take practical steps towards developments which would ensure that no one needed to suffer from epilepsy and its consequences only because they had no access to the presently available diagnostics and therapeutics. The AES International Affairs Committee had kindly agreed to join and support an initiative for the development of epilepsy care in Central America and the Caribbean.

Professor Wolf concluded his speech by thanking the officials and committees of the AES whom he had spoken to for their great commitment and willingness to contribute to the success of these new initiatives. He was pleased to be with the largest and most scientifically-dynamic chapter in the League and complimented AES on another high quality meeting.

ILAE Meetings Held in Washington, DC

The ILAE Executive Committee held their first in-person meeting since Paris to discuss League issues. With the full committee on hand, the committee discussed issues regarding chapters and commissions, along with making plans for 2006. Along with the Executive Committee, the Sub-commission on Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery, Commission on Neurobiology, Commission on Epilepsy Care, Web site Task Force, Education Committee, Commission on Therapeutic Strategies and Sub-commission on Education also held meetings. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will take place in Brussels on 17 March 2006.

Commission on the Development of Epilepsy Care

The inaugural meeting of the Commission on the Development of Epilepsy Care took place on 4 December 2005 in Washington, DC. The Commission, chaired by Dr. Giuliano Avanzini, will work with the Global Campaign to organize epilepsy meetings in regions of the world where there is little epilepsy-related activity. Education and training are major components of the ILAE agenda and the Commission will work closely with the Commission on Education on these pursuits. The Commission will next meet on 2 July at the 7th European Congress on Epileptology in Helsinki and will host a one-hour session at the American Epilepsy Society meeting in San Diego in December.

On the ILAE Website - ILAE On-Line Discussion Group launched in February 2006

After more than a year of research and planning, in February the ILAE launched an on-line Discussion Group for the exclusive use of its members. This internet-based Discussion Group is a communication forum for the exchange of ideas among ILAE members in the field of epilepsy. Participants can post new questions and/or respond to the posts of others, and we encourage discussion topics on any epilepsy related topic (patient care, research, professional issues, job postings etc).

To use the Discussion Group for the first time, members should log onto the ILAE home page (www.ILAE-Epilepsy.org). There is a simple registration process, and the mechanics of the Group are expressly designed so that even those with modest email/internet facilities will have complete and easy access. The site will be moderated by an epileptologist (Andrew Wilner, MD). Instructions for use are found here .Feedback from those who try the site is welcomed. Please direct any comments or questions to Cheryl-Ann Tubby at .

We hope the ILAE Discussion Group becomes an important and widely-used service for the ILAE. It can be informative and fun -  please try and enjoy it!

Log on now

Simon Shorvon, ILAE Information Officer

Photos from the 26th International Epilepsy Congress in Paris
Dues Solidarity Fund

The League’s Executive Committee has determined that the minimum payment of dues for Chapters that have no national membership fee is $10 U.S. This can be a burden for some of the League’s smallest, less financially developed Chapters. In recognition of this, a Dues Solidarity Fund has been established through donations from the League’s larger Chapters. Chapters from countries that are listed in World Bank’s “Low” and “Lower Middle” classifications are eligible to apply for financial assistance from the Dues Solidarity Fund.

Summer School in Venice

5th International Course on Epilepsy: Surgically Remediable Epilepsies

28 July – 8 August 2006  - Venice International University, San Servolo, Venice, Italy

The aim of the course is to teach attendees to: (1) utilize basic knowledge for imaging and electrophysiological study of candidate patients for epilepsy surgery; (2) describe nature and evolution of surgically remediable epilepsies; (3) recognize and select patients with drug-resistant epilepsy that may benefit from surgical approach; (4) plan neurophysiological, video EEG and imaging investigations and interpret their results in the clinical context; (5) run and manage a team that collaborates in a Epilepsy Surgery Unit. For more information on the Summer School, visit http://www.ilae-epilepsy.org/Visitors/Centre/Congresses.cfm .
6th AOEC Moves to Malaysia

The International Organizing Committee has decided to move the 6th Asian & Oceanian Epilepsy Congress to Kuala Lumpur. The main reasons for picking Kuala Lumpur are its proximity to Indonesia and the good conference facilities. The ILAE and IBE chapters in Indonesia and Malaysia will jointly organize the congress. The new dates are 16 - 19 November in 2006. Click here for more details.

Upcoming Regional Congresses

10-14 May 2006
1st East Mediterranean Epilepsy Congress
Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt

2-6 July 2006
7th European Congress on Epileptology
Helsinki, Finland

28 July - 8 August, 2006
5th International Course on Epilepsy: Surgically remediable epilepsies
Venice International University
San Servolo, Venice, Italy

6 - 9 September 2006
4th Latin American Epilepsy Congress

16-19 November 2006
6th Asian & Oceanian Epilepsy Congress
Kuala Lumpur

1-5 December 2006
1st North American Epilepsy Congress
San Diego, California USA

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