Epigraph Vol. 8 Issue 4, Fall 2006

From the Information Officer

Quill Pen

Nothing is a more important yardstick by which an organization such as the ILAE should be judged, than its commitment to improving epilepsy care in the least fortunate countries; arguable we as a professional community do not act enough in this regard.

To highlight what can be done, this issue of Epigraph profiles projects from Mali and Senegal, which are outstanding models of good medical care conducted in difficult circumstances, and also the Brazilian project of the ILAE Global Campaign Against Epilepsy. These are all remarkable achievements and a tribute to those involved. Epilepsy on the African subcontinent causes misery and privation to many individuals and families, and is under-resourced. The alleviation of hardship can be achieved only by sustained and concerted action and the two African projects are exemplary in this regard.

Also notable in these projects are the way in which clinical care and research and teaching are intermingled, making the point (often lost) that much best clinical practice occurs in a research environment.

The report of a final workshop of the ILAE Global Campaign Against Epilepsy Brazilian project provides another example of what is possible to achieve by enthusiasm and dedication. This project has resulted in the establishment of a National Epilepsy Programme, about to be launched by the Brazilian Health Ministry, for the promotion of epilepsy in primary care settings. By a determined action such as this, it is often possible to overcome the usual hurdles of political and individual self-interest, which impede the progress of medicine and science in many countries; ILAE should be in the forefront of this effort worldwide.

Back to home territory - this issue of Epigraph also contains an invitation for ILAE members to apply for the post of ILAE Information Officer. This is an interesting and worthwhile position, and ILAE hopes that there will be an enthusiastic response to the invitation. As mentioned in the announcement, Peter Wolf or I would be pleased to discuss or answer queries.

Another significant ILAE development, described in this issue of Epigraph, is the establishment of a new prize – the Morris-Coole Prize – which will be awarded for the best published paper in Epilepsia. Its intention is to recognize and stimulate research achievement and the first recipients of the prize will be announced next year.

In 2009, the ILAE celebrates its centenary – and there are several projects already underway to prepare for this anniversary. Amongst these are the establishment of a historical archive and book, and ILAE is keen to acquire material for both. Brief details of these are outlined in the pages of this issue of Epigraph.

Finally, there is the usual listing of listing of conferences and ILAE information and the Episcope feature. As always, we are keen to hear from you and to receive submissions for consideration of publication in Epigraph.

Simon Shorvon
ILAE Information Officer and Editor of Epigraph