Epilepsy Conference Halifax Sept 2016


Fourth Halifax International Epilepsy

Conference & Retreat 2016

“Epilepsy as a network disorder:  What can we learn from other disorders such as autism, depression, dementia, and schizophrenia?”

September 21st to 24th, 2016, White Point Conference Center, Nova Scotia, Canada

A world class international faculty from Europe, South America, United States and Canada will gather September 21 to 24, 2016 at the White Point conference center to present and discuss innovative ideas and concepts around the understanding of brain diseases. This outstanding event is the 4th biannual think-tank & brainstorming meeting organized since 2010. The members of the steering committee are Bernd Pohlmann-Eden MD PhD (Professor of Neurology, team lead), (Halifax), Alon Friedman, MD PhD (Professor of Neuroscience, Dennis Chair in Epilepsy Research) (Halifax), Candice Crocker PhD (Halifax), and Helen Scharfman PhD (New York).

The meeting will focus on epilepsy (recurrent spontaneous seizures), which is a common medical condition that affects people of all ages: within Nova Scotia approximately 6,000-8,000 people have epilepsy. About 500 to 700 people in Nova Scotia will be diagnosed every year with their first seizure, according to data of Dr. Pohlmann-Eden (Director of the Halifax First Seizure Clinic in the Division of Neurology, Halifax Infirmary, Dalhousie University). Epilepsy is considered to be a complex network disease with some striking similarities to other brain diseases.  The organizers believe there is an (and often missed) opportunity to increase our limited understanding of neurological and psychiatric diseases, and epilepsy specifically, by broadening our perspectives and looking “next door”. The most up-to-date knowledge on other brain network disorders such as autism, depression, dementia and schizophrenia will be presented by experts who work in these areas, known for their depth of expertise and innovative thinking. The speakers will include clinicians and basic scientists. Ideas for new approaches are envisioned as a natural outflow of this conference. The format will be interactive and thought provoking with a mix of illustrative case presentations, basic science presentations and clinical observations. The specific aim of this meeting is to gain a better understanding of shared mechanisms in epilepsy, autism, depression, anxiety, dementia and psychosis. The ultimate goals of this conference are to improve local networking among various disciplines and to establish a collaborative network among international experts with a focus on these topics, and most importantly improve care for people with a wide range of brain diseases.

According to Dr. Pohlmann-Eden, this open-minded fresh conference concept with casual and informal sharing among experts is absolutely critical for the province of Nova Scotia to help to increase awareness around these diseases and hopefully learn from other centers around the globe how to better conceptualize disease management and ultimately improve health care for people suffering from brain network disorders.

The meeting is financed by generous grants of the Brain Repair Center, Dalhousie University, Halifax and the CURE – Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy association in conjunction with UCB pharma, Eisai Limited, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc as industrial sponsors. The outcomes of this meeting will be published in an international peer-reviewed journal.

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