Statement Regarding Department Of Defense Epilepsy Funding Announcement
Attribute to Susan Axelrod, Founding Chair, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE)
“CURE applauds the announcement today from the U.S. Department of Defense – allocating $7.5 million dedicated to epilepsy research – and thanks Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) for his leadership on this issue. The incidence of epilepsy increased by an alarming 52 percent from 2006 to 2010, with approximately 8 percent of those afflicted having been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI)1. Twenty-four percent of military related epilepsy is associated with prior TBI.2
"We applaud Senator Durbin for recognizing this dire unmet need, and for his leadership in taking action that has the potential to truly transform and save lives”
–Susan Axelrod, Founding Chair, CURE
“In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the “signature wound” was traumatic brain injury. Those who suffer severe TBI face up to a 50 percent chance of developing Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE), with the symptoms of epilepsy (seizures) manifesting themselves immediately or even up to fifteen years post-injury.3 The mechanisms underlying the development of epilepsy, or epileptogenesis, are complex and not fully understood.
“Seven years after my head injury I am still working to control my seizures. I think this funding is really good so that doctors and researchers can learn more and get rid of epilepsy. Seizures make me frustrated because we understand little about why they happen or how to beat them,” said Pat Horan, a CURE-supporter and army veteran who battles post-traumatic epilepsy since being injured in Iraq.
“CURE is grateful for the continued support of Senator Durbin and others who back our effort to find a cure for this disease through research and by increasing awareness of epilepsy’s prevalence and devastating consequences for patients and their families. Investing in research is the cornerstone of discovery and an ultimate cure.”
1. Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center. Epilepsy in active component service members, 1998-2012. MSMR. 2013;20(5):19–22.
2. Pugh et al., 2014 J Head Trauma Rehabil.
3. Annegers JF, Hauser WA, Coan SP, Rocca WA. (1998) A populationbased study of seizures after traumatic brain injuries. N Engl J Med 338:20–24.