Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles to Deliver Updated Epilepsy Research Findings at Fourth Annual Brain Storm Summit

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Informational summit to kick off foundation's 50th anniversary.

The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles announced today that it will host its fourth annual Brain Storm Summit on November 4, 2006 at the Cathedral Plaza Conference Center in downtown Los Angeles. In addition to offering presentations on updated research findings and new topics in epilepsy, this year's summit will kick off the Foundation's 50th year of serving people with epilepsy in the greater Los Angeles region.

"Despite some advances in epilepsy research, individuals with epilepsy and their loved ones still face an often devastating diagnosis and many challenges," said Susan Pietsch-Escueta, the executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. "What better way to launch our 50th anniversary than to ensure that individuals with epilepsy and their loved ones have the information and the ability to improve their quality of life and advocate on their own behalf."

Despite its prevalence, epilepsy remains one of the least understood neurological diseases. Thirty to forty percent of people with epilepsy continue to have seizures despite treatment. In a recent nationwide survey of people with epilepsy, 54% of the respondents who were still in school reported that epilepsy had a negative impact on their academic performance, citing difficulties with memory, thinking, concentration, language, problem-solving and more. Furthermore, pregnant women with epilepsy face a double-edged sword as both seizures and the drugs taken to prevent them may negatively affect their developing child. The association between epilepsy and depression is also especially strong - more than one of every three persons with epilepsy is also affected by this mood disorder.

The Brain Storm Summit is designed to address these issues and others by bringing those with epilepsy and their loved ones together with nationally-recognized, English- and Spanish-speaking doctors and presenters. This year, Dr. William Theodore from the Epilepsy Branch of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke will present an overview of the latest epilepsy research findings. In addition, specialists in epilepsy and other experts will share the latest research and therapies, and answer questions to address the more common challenges.

This year's Brain Storm Summit will also launch the Foundation's 50th anniversary of service in this region. Initially established as the Los Angeles County Epilepsy Society (LACES) in 1957, the Foundation gradually expanded to include the counties of Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura in its services, and has since changed its name to the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. To commemorate the event, the Epilepsy Foundation will host a special luncheon to recognize its "Partners for Real Progress": regional medical epilepsy programs, key volunteers; nationwide Epilepsy Foundations, National Institutes of Health, the International Bureau of Epilepsy and the International League against Epilepsy.

Advanced registration by October 31st, 2006 is strongly recommended. Prior to October 31st, the seminar fee is $20 for individuals and $30 for a family of two. Additional family members are $10. The fees increase to $25, $35 and $15 respectively after October 31st. The fee will help to cover refreshments, syllabus materials and parking. For detailed information and to register, visit http://www.epilepsy-socalif.org or call (800) 564-0445.

About Epilepsy

When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they have epilepsy. There are over 20 types of seizures and 40 epilepsy syndromes affecting approximately 2.7 million people in the U.S. and 50 million people worldwide. This year, another 200,000 people in our country will be diagnosed; an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 will die of seizures and related causes. To date, there is no known cure.

About the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

Established in 1957, the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is the only non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated solely to serving the estimated 150,000 to 180,000 people living with epilepsy in this region. Our mission is to improve the lives of people affected by epilepsy by promoting care, prevention, research and cure through education, support services, programs, advocacy and awareness. The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is affiliated with the Epilepsy Foundation of America in Landover, Maryland.

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