US expert talks about epilepsy

Epilepsy will be the discussion focus this Saturday (Nov 3) as one of the United States’ most interesting scientists, Professor James R Doty from Stanford University, comes to Brisbane to headline a symposium on the topic.

Professor Doty, a professor of neurosurgery and founder of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, is also an inventor and philanthropist and continues a tradition of intriguing speakers at the Epilepsy Symposium.

Epilepsy affects more people than Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and Cerebral Palsy combined and only 30% of people with epilepsy respond to treatment.

To be held at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, the Epilepsy Symposium is organised by Griffith mental health expert Professor Harry McConnell, Epilepsy Queensland and St Vincent’s Hospital Brisbane.

Lively discussion

Professor McConnell is expecting lively discussion at the event which attracts people with epilepsy, carers, scientists, doctors and support workers alike.

“It’s always a little controversial because we look at the full range of issues and treatments beyond the medical model, including surgery, ethics and nutrition,” Professor McConnell said.

“Epilepsy is huge in Australia, but receives a tiny fraction of the research funding other medical conditions get. Hopefully this conference will go some way to creating a greater awareness of epilepsy in the general public but also the medical community,” he said.

Speakers will include Professor Roy Beran from Griffith, Dr Sophie Calvert of Royal Children’s Hospital and Mater Children’s Hospital, Brisbane and Professor Mike Ward – former Commissioner of the Health Quality and Complaints Commission.

Professor Doty will kick off the symposium with a lecture on epilepsy and compassion. This will be followed by a panel discussion involving an ethicist, neurologist, doctors and people with epilepsy.

“We have so far to go in treating epilepsy and need as much public discussion as possible. Drawing these people together is so valuable for both sides,” said Professor McConnell.

Event details: Princess Alexandra Hospital Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba, Saturday November 3, 12:30 — 5pm. Pre-booking is essential — contact 34355000.

For more, contact Epilepsy Queensland