UC Epilepsy Center in Spotlight at Annual American Epilepsy Society Meeting

People pose for photo

The Epilepsy Center at the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute made several important contributions to the recent American Epilepsy Society meeting in Baltimore.

The meeting, which marked the American Epilepsy Society’s 75th anniversary, attracted more than 4,000 scientists, physicians and other healthcare providers from around the world.

Michael Privitera, MD, Professor of Neurology and Director of the UC Epilepsy Center, led a symposium on the topic of generic drug safety in people with epilepsy. Leaders from the FDA spoke at the symposium and reviewed the current process for generic drug approval and its limitations. Dr. Privitera led a consortium of epilepsy centers – including the UC Epilepsy Center — that just received a $2.2 million grant from the FDA and several foundations to test the safety and equivalence of generic antiepileptic drugs in people with epilepsy.

The 75th anniversary celebration included salutes to former American Epilepsy Society presidents, including Charles Aring, MD, who founded the Department of Neurology at UC. Dr. Aring was president of the American Epilepsy Society from 1944 to 1946.

In other highlights from the meeting:

* Jerzy Szaflarski, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience and the Neuroscience Graduate Program, and Associate Director of UC’s Center for Imaging Research, presented his work on functional MRI for language and memory and was lead author or co-author on 10 different abstract presentations.

* The Epilepsy Center team presented a series of studies on performance improvement at the Epilepsy Center. Many representatives from epilepsy centers around the United States requested information on how to implement performance improvement projects like those pioneered by UC.

* Researchers presented information about new treatments for epilepsy, including deep brain stimulation and several new medications with unique mechanisms of action.

* Several researchers presented information about the utility of video/EEG to detect subtle seizures in critically ill patients in ICUs and how to best treat them. The UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute is a leader in this field, having published a series of studies that demonstrate how to detect seizures and how to treat them. UC published one of the first large series of cases in 1994, and Dr. Szaflarski recently published a prospective randomized trial comparing treatments.

— Michael Privitera, MD

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