AES and NIH Host Public Lecture on Epilepsy and Comorbidities

Saturday, December 1, 2007 General News
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PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 30 The American Epilepsy Society (AES)and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have announced the 5th JudithHoyer Lecture in Epilepsy, an annual public lecture highlighting recentadvances in epilepsy research. Epilepsy Co morbidities: Lennox and LessonsLearned will be presented on Friday, November 30th from 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

This year's lecture will feature Joan K. Austin, D.N.S., RN, F.A.A.N.,Distinguished Professor of Nursing at the Indiana University School ofNursing, adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Indiana UniversitySchool of Medicine and in the Department of Psychology, Purdue UniversitySchool of Science. She is also a past-president of the American EpilepsySociety.

The comorbidities associated with epilepsy and its treatments - whichinclude cognitive and memory dysfunction, depression, anxiety, and attentiondisorders - have long presented a challenge for people affected by epilepsy,their healthcare providers and the research community. In her presentation,Dr. Austin will review early descriptions of mental health and cognitiveproblems that were written by key historical figures in epilepsy. She willthen discuss some of the important lessons that we have learned about epilepsycomorbidities from recent research and conclude by describing the challengesthat lie ahead.

The Judith Hoyer Lecture in Epilepsy honors the memory of Mrs. JudithHoyer, late wife of U.S. Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-Maryland), the HouseDemocratic Majority Leader. Mrs. Hoyer had epilepsy and spent her life bothhelping families to cope with epilepsy and promoting research towards a cureand a better quality of life for those with the disorder. The lecture is heldeach year to help stimulate new findings in epilepsy research. The lecture issponsored by the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke(NINDS) and the American Epilepsy Society.

A reception for participants will begin at 2:45 p.m. in the foyer of Room201 of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The reception will feature patientstories on poster displays with patients there to explain their epilepsyexperience. The lecture is open to the public, including journalists,professionals and other interested parties. Registration is not required inorder to attend.

More Information on Joan K. Austin, D.N.S., RN, F.A.A.N.

Joan Austin is Distinguished Professor of Nursing at Indiana UniversitySchool of Nursing. A graduate of the Indiana School of Nursing, she joined thefaculty there in the Department of Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing aftergraduation, and also holds adjunct appointments in the Department ofPsychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine and in the Department ofPsychology, Purdue University School of Science.

Dr. Austin has been actively engaged in behavioral research on childhoodepilepsy. Currently, she is principal investigator on NIH-supported researchinvestigating child and family adaptation to childhood epilepsy. She has beenrecognized for her research by the AES/Milken Family Foundation EpilepsyResearch Awards, Sigma Theta Tau International, and the International Bureaufor Epilepsy/International League Against Epilepsy. She has served as areviewer for numerous journals.

Dr. Austin has been a member of the AES Scientific Program Committee, theFinance Committee, the Research Recognition Awards Committee and the StrategicLong Range Planning Committee.

About Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that affects more than threemillion Americans. One of the most common neurological disorders, epilepsy ischaracterized by recurrent seizures, caused by disturbed electrical rhythms ofthe central nervous system and typically manifested by convulsive attacksusually with clouding of consciousness. While there is not a cure forepilepsy,


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