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Science Translational Medicine publishes a white paper on NRI symposium on childhood epilepsy

Nov. 13, 2014
Children with catastrophic epilepsy have frequent severe seizures and have cognitive and behavioral disabilities such autism. Commercially available anticonvulsants are not effective in curbing these extreme seizures or accompanying developmental defects.

In April this year, 300 people convened at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Institute of the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital to highlight the cutting-edge research on syndromes that cause catastrophic childhood epilepsy.

This unique two-day symposium provided a common platform for physicians, academic and pharmaceutical researchers, families and patient advocates, representatives from the NIH, the FDA, private foundations, and publishing entities to share their unique perspectives and insights about various childhood epileptic syndromes.

In addition to attending various scientific seminars, attendees were invited to participate in panel discussions and small workshops. Especially crucial for guiding the direction of these deliberations and discussions were contributions from the parents of children with these disorders.

NRI faculty who organized this conference have published an article this week in Science Translational Medicine that summarizes key research findings presented at the conference along with a detailed description of the recommendations that emerged from these intense discussions. It is anticipated that adhering to these recommendations will help accelerate the pace of research and drug discovery for this devastating group of diseases.

This was a part of a biennial symposium series on neurological diseases funded by the journal Science Translational Medicine. The next one on Neurodegenerative diseases is scheduled for 2016