New research in seizure treatment at American Epilepsy Society meeting

BOSTON DECEMBER 5, 2003 More than 3,000 physicians, researchers, nurses and other health care professionals from around the world have gathered in Boston starting today through Wednesday, Dec. 10, for the 57th Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society (AES).

Experts are sharing information about recent advances in genetic research, diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, a neurological disorder that affects 55 million people worldwide--even more people than Alzheimer's disease. More than 900 poster and platform presentations, lectures, workshops, satellite symposia, publications, scientific exhibitions and commercial exhibits will fill Boston's Hynes Convention Center for the next five days.

"The goal of this meeting is to stimulate research by bringing forward the recent advances in scientific discovery," explains Jeffrey L. Noebels, M.D., Ph.D., current president of the American Epilepsy Society. "We are dedicated to furthering clinical and basic research in the treatment of epilepsy and accelerating the application of this new knowledge by educating those involved in their care."

One of the highlights of the scientific program will take place on Monday with the Presidential Symposium, The Developing Epileptic Brain, chaired by Dr. Noebels. The symposium will discuss recent advances in understanding the genetics and molecular biology behind the development of neurons in the epileptic brain.

Other research to be discussed includes:

  • Efficacy of the Atkins Diet for Intractable Epilepsy The well-known, high-protein Atkins diet may be a well-tolerated alternative without the calorie or protein restrictions of the ketogenic diet, a very strict diet used to treat medically resistant epilepsy in children.
  • Treatment of Seizures in the Elderly A large, nationwide study finds that tolerability is a key factor in selecting a drug therapy for elderly people with epilepsy an


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