NIH News Advisory
National Institute of
Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Thursday, March 23, 2000

Margaret Warren (NINDS)
(301) 496-5751

White House-Initiated NIH Conference is First to Focus on Finding a Cure for Epilepsy
Conference Goal is "No Seizures, No Side Effects"

Epilepsy affects approximately 2.5 million Americans of all ages and backgrounds, making it one of the most common neurological diseases in this country. Despite many decades of research and advances in drug and surgical therapies, many people with epilepsy still suffer from incompletely controlled seizures or the side effects of treatment. Epilepsy exacts an enormous toll on patients and their families. A recent study by the Epilepsy Foundation found that the annual financial cost of epilepsy in the United States is $12.5 billion.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a component of the National Institutes of Health, is sponsoring a first-of-its-kind conference presenting discoveries likely to lead to the prevention and cure of epilepsy. With the support and cooperation of several epilepsy organizations, the conference will focus on how genetic research and the development of new therapies are leading scientists closer to a cure.

What: Curing Epilepsy: Focus on the Future
A White House-Initiated Conference on Epilepsy
When: Thursday, March 30, 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday, March 31, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Natcher Conference Center
NIH Campus
Bethesda, Maryland
Who: Dr. Gerald D. Fischbach, Director
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Dr. Timothy Pedley, Chairman, Department of Neurology
Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York City

Several researchers on epilepsy and related fields

Note: All conference sessions are open to the media. Interviews with Dr. Fischbach and other presenters can be arranged upon request. A complete conference program is available online at Please call to reserve space by Friday, March 24, 2000.
Contact: Margo Warren, NINDS, (301) 496-5751