Female psychologist working with boy who has autism

The Epilepsy-Autism Connection: Research, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Over 30% of people with epilepsy also meet the diagnostic criteria for autism.1 In this webinar, presented by Dr. Jamie Capal, hear leading theories on the interconnection between autism and epilepsy. Learn about the most common seizure types in people with autism and dive into the current research on why so many children with autism develop epilepsy.

Dr. Capal will also review how parents can identify if a child is having seizures and next steps to take, including diagnostic testing and treatment options.

Dr. Jamie Capal is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Capal has been an integral member of the multidisciplinary Tuberous Sclerosis Clinic Center of Excellence and maintains a busy clinical practice diagnosing and treating children with autism spectrum disorders and comorbid neurological disorders. Her current research is focused in the areas of autism spectrum disorder and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.

1 Spence, S., Schneider, M. The Role of Epilepsy and Epileptiform EEGs in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Pediatr Res 65, 599–606 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1203/PDR.0b013e31819e7168.

The ABCs of EEGs: An Evolving Tool for Epilepsy Diagnosis

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This webinar explores the intricacies and advancements in a well-known diagnostic tool; an EEG.

An electroencephalogram – better known as an EEG – is a test that records electrical brain patterns from the scalp. EEGs are critical for the diagnosis of epilepsy and other neurological conditions. While this diagnostic tool has been available for nearly a century, there have been great advances in the portability and signal detection properties.

This webinar discusses how epilepsy patients have benefited from advances in EEG technology, and the role of the EEG and other neuroimaging tools in the future of epilepsy diagnosis and seizure localization.

This webinar is presented by Dr. David Burdette, Epilepsy Section Chief for Spectrum Health Medical Group in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has been at the forefront of EEG education having served on the American Board of EEG Technologists (ABRET) and the LAB-EEG board of the American Board of EEG Technologists (ABRET).  Dr. Burdette’s clinical interests include neurotelemetry, long-term EEG trending, treatment of refractory epilepsy, treatment of status epilepticus, and electroencephalography.

Webinar: Rescue Medication Delivery Methods and Future Therapies

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Seizures can be both unpredictable and unrelenting. When a seizure becomes an emergency, rescue medications provide immediate relief and help prevent the need for emergency care. While existing therapies do stop these epilepsy emergencies in many patients, some are still searching for an option that works for them.

In the second part of this two-part webinar series, gain insight from Dr. Nathan Fountain of the University of Virginia on how different rescue medications can be administered, promising research, and what rescue therapies are currently in the pipeline. His presentation will include a look at the rescue medication pipeline and the new delivery methods which may become available to patients.

Dr. Nathan Fountain, Professor of Neurology and the Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the University of Virginia.

Epilepsy Emergencies and Current Rescue Medications

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Seizures can be both unpredictable and unrelenting. When a seizure becomes an emergency, rescue medications provide immediate relief and help prevent the need for emergency care. While existing therapies do stop these epilepsy emergencies in many patients, some are still searching for an option that works for them.

In this two-part webinar series, gain insight on the different epilepsy emergencies, existing rescue medications,  promising research in this space, and what rescue therapies are currently in the pipeline. These webinars feature leading experts in the field who have recently participated in rescue medication research trials.

In this first webinar, Dr. Kamil Detyniecki of the University of Miami provides an overview of the different types of seizure emergencies, while also discussing the currently available rescue medications.

Our second webinar on September 10 features Dr. Nathan Fountain of the University of Virginia, who will explore the latest research on rescue medications. His presentation will include a look at the rescue medication pipeline and the new delivery methods which may become available to patients.

During a live Q&A at the end of each webinar, these leading experts answer questions such as:

  • What makes different delivery methods more or less effective for some patients?
  • Are rescue medications only for individuals who experience seizure clusters?
  • What are the potential risks associated with using rescue medications?

This webinar features Dr. Kamil Detyniecki, Assistant Professor of the Clinical Neurology Epilepsy Division, at the University of Miami.

Epilepsy Surgery: Advancements, Options, & Considerations

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For some people with uncontrolled epilepsy, surgery is an effective and important option to consider. This webinar will help patients and caregivers approach this difficult and sometimes confusing conversation with their doctors.

Dr. Kate Davis explores recent advances in epilepsy surgery which have increased not only the types of surgeries available to patients but expanded who is an appropriate candidate for surgery. Dr. Davis also discusses the different tests performed as part of an epilepsy surgical evaluation and review current surgical options including resective surgery, laser ablation, and implantable devices.

Dr. Davis addresses questions such as:

  • What are the potential risks to consider when contemplating brain surgery?
  • What resources are available for patients and their family members who might be considering surgery?
  • What role does an assessment of your cognition and behavior (language skills, memory, problem solving, etc.) play in determining the potential benefit and risks of surgery?

This webinar is presented by Dr. Kate Davis, Medical Director of the Epilepsy Surgical Program and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at the University of Pennsylvania.

Plus, get the patient perspective on epilepsy surgery from this episode of our Seizing Life podcast.

Epilepsy and Dietary Therapies: How What You Eat May Help Control Seizures

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For individuals with epilepsy – particularly refractory epilepsy – change of diet can be a recommended therapy for seizure control. While the ketogenic diet has been around for almost a century and is the arguably the most well-known dietary treatment option, today, there are multiple diets used to treat specific epilepsy types and syndromes.

In this webinar, two neurologists present both the research and clinical perspectives of dietary therapies. Dr. Jong Rho speaks to the science backing the use of dietary therapies to control seizures, and Dr. Eric Kosoff discusses how doctors determine which patients to recommend these therapies for, as well as how patients can work with their doctors to navigate these options.

Dr. Rho and Dr. Kosoff address questions such as:

  • What epilepsy conditions has the ketogenic diet proved effective in reducing seizures?
  • Can I just look up a ketogenic diet online and try it?
  • What biological mechanisms cause these diets to work and how much do we know about them?
  • What resources are available to help parents and caregivers follow the strict dietary guidelines?

This webinar is jointly presented by Dr. Jong Rho, Professor of Pediatrics, Clinical Neurosciences, and Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Calgary and Dr. Eric Kossoff, Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

Plus, listen to our Seizing Life podcast episode featuring registered dietician Robyn Blackford and advanced practice nurse Breanne Fisher for more information about using the ketogenic diet to treat epilepsy.

Webinar: Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE)

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Dr. Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, Professor of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania
CURE presents a leading expert on Post-Traumatic Epilepsy

In CURE’s Leaders in Epilepsy Research webinar, participants hear from a leading expert on Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE), epilepsy resulting in physical trauma to the brain. The webinar reviews efforts underway to advance our understanding of PTE, as well as the exciting new therapies being developed that may one day result in a cure.

It is presented by Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, MD, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Diaz-Arrastia is an expert on the molecular, cellular, and tissue level mechanisms of trauma-induced neuroregeneration and injury-related synaptic plasticity. He works to develop effective therapies for Post-Traumatic Epilepsy.

Plus, hear more about the history and current state of PTE research from this episode of our Seizing Life podcast.

Webinar: Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)

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A webinar discussing the population at risk for Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) and what risk factors may be involved. Dr. Elizabeth Donner explores the personal impact of SUDEP, the latest research statistics, and what resources are available to the community. Part of the CURE Leaders in Epilepsy webinar series.

Transitioning from Pediatric to Adult Epilepsy Care

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Transitioning from pediatric to adult care is a major milestone for individuals with epilepsy and their families. Unfortunately, this process can be delayed due to the multitude of health and comorbid conditions which can accompany epilepsy, as well as the personal bond between the family and their pediatric care team.

This webinar discusses how epilepsy patients, their families, and pediatric neurologists can develop a plan to prepare for the transition of care. The presenter, Dr. Joseph Sirven, explores what factors to consider when transitioning care, established research guidelines for transitioning care, and the resources available to assist everyone involved.

During the webinar, the audience asks questions covering:

  • Is the transition of care plan dependent upon a patient’s epilepsy type?
  • Do treatment options change when a patient begins seeing an adult neurologist?
  • What research has been done into the effects of transition care on a patient’s lifestyle?

This webinar is conducted by Dr. Joseph Sirven, Professor of Neurology and Chair Emeritus in the Department of Neurology and Director of the Epilepsy Program at the Mayo Clinic’s Arizona Campus. Dr. Sirven serves as editor-in-chief at www.epilepsy.com.

Webinar: Epilepsy, Pregnancy, and Contraception

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Plus, hear how one mom navigated epilepsy and pregnancy safely in this episode of the  Seizing Life podcast.

Pregnancy and contraception can be a difficult subject for women with epilepsy to discuss with their doctors, however it is critical for reproductive health. Estimates suggest there are more than 1.1 million women in the US with epilepsy of childbearing age.

Women with epilepsy must face certain considerations when starting a family.  This webinar focuses on the research surrounding epilepsy and pregnancy, as well as provides strategies to help minimize risks for both mother and baby.

This webinar addresses questions, such as:

  • What does research show about the safety of certain anti-seizure drugs in pregnancy?
  • What resources are available to women with epilepsy who are planning a family?
  • Which forms of contraception interact with anti-seizure medications?

This webinar is conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Gerard, Associate Professor of Neurology with a specialty in epilepsy at Northwestern University. Her clinical focus is contraceptive and pre-conception counseling as well as the management of epilepsy during pregnancy.