Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles To Hold Fifth Annual Brain Storm Summit

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Two-Day Conference Presents the Future of Epilepsy Treatment, Research and Advocacy.

Looking Forward - Epilepsy Research, Treatment and Advocacy

The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, in partnership with Keith's House Foundation, announced today that it will host its fifth annual Epilepsy Brain Storm Summit on November 3-4, 2007 at the Cathedral Plaza Conference Center in downtown Los Angeles. This year's theme is "Looking Forward - Epilepsy Research, Treatment and Advocacy". In addition to offering presentations from epilepsy experts Dr. Robert Fisher and Dr. Steven Schachter on updated research findings and new treatments in epilepsy, this year's summit will feature keynotes from former congressman and author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Tony Coelho, and current State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas.

"Despite some advances in epilepsy research, individuals with epilepsy and their loved ones still face an often devastating diagnosis and many lifelong challenges," said Susan Pietsch-Escueta, the executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. "We believe this year's Brain Storm Summit will offer hope to individuals with epilepsy by providing a glimpse into the future of seizure treatment and the importance of advocacy."

"Conferences like this provide opportunities for individuals affected by epilepsy to not only get the latest information but also to connect with and learn from each other," said Gayle Liebowitz from Keith's House Foundation's Executive Board. "We at Keith's House are proud to sponsor such events to aid adults in their quest for a better life."

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 addition, there remains a lack of access to specialty care and a lack of understanding for how early intervention can improve long-term health. The Epilepsy Brain Storm Summit hopes to address these issues and offer concrete ideas for meeting the challenges, such as highlighting new treatments and the importance of self- and legislative advocacy to drive positive change on an individual and community level.

Some of the leading minds in epilepsy research and treatment will address the attendees at this year's Epilepsy Brain Storm Summit. Dr. Robert Fisher is the director of the Epilepsy Center at Stanford University and is known internationally as a developer of new treatment protocols involving brain stimulation to stop seizures as well as novel methods for applying medication directly to a seizure focus on the brain linked with automatic seizure detection. Dr. Steven Schachter, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, is the editor-in-chief of epilepsy.com. Dr. Schachter has directed over 80 research projects involving antiepileptic drugs, has contributed extensively to medical literature, and compiled the 6-volume Brainstorms series.

The summit will also feature keynotes from Tony Coelho and Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas. Former Congressman Tony Coelho was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978 from California's Central Valley. While in the House, Mr. Coelho, who has epilepsy, authored the Americans with Disabilities Act. Now in the private sector, Coelho continues to devote time to public service, including chairing the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (1994-2001) and the Epilepsy Foundation (2005-2007). Current State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas was elected to the California State Senate in 2006 by Senate District 26 after serving two terms in the State Assembly. Mr. Ridley-Thomas' committee and legislative work continue to address a broad range of issues with implications for economic and workforce development, health care, public safety, education, budget accountability, consumer protection and civic participation.

To register, visit: http://EpilepsyBrainStormSummit.kintera.org. Advanced registration by October 31st, 2007 is strongly recommended. Prior to October 31st, the seminar fee is $25 for individuals and $35 for two family members or two driving together. The fees increase to $35 and $40 respectively after October 31st. The fee will help to cover syllabus materials, parking and refreshments. For additional information, contact Rebekkah at (800) 564-0445.

About Epilepsy
When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they have epilepsy. According to the International League against Epilepsy, there are 2 main types of seizures - partial or generalized - and more than 25 recognizable syndromes affecting 3 million people in the U.S. and 40-50 million people worldwide. This year, another 200,000 people in our country will be diagnosed. 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.
http://www.epilepsy-socalif.org

About Keith's House Foundation
The formation of Keith's House is a passionate dream of Keith's family and friends to bring young adults with epilepsy and brain injury together; providing them with support groups, socialization and volunteer opportunities. As a result of Keith's own personal journey, Keith's House Foundation is dedicated to improving the social and mental lives of young adults who have suffered a catastrophic life altering brain illness.

http://www.keithshousefoundation.com

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