2018 Pipeline Conference and Community Day Blog Series

This year’s Epilepsy Foundation Pipeline Conference brought together some of the best minds and stakeholders in epilepsy treatment, therapeutic innovation, and product development to discuss new updates in treatment and care. Immediately following the conference, Community Day hosted people with epilepsy, their family and friends, and advocates in a day of education and empowerment.

Follow this three-part blog series to read highlights from both events and learn more about what’s coming in the new therapies pipeline.

Part 1: New Technology in Epilepsy Treatment and Care

Epilepsy News From: Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Future of Epilepsy Foundation My Seizure Diary

The Pipeline Conference kicked off with an exciting discussion on epilepsy and technology. John Hixson MD, associate professor at the University of California San Diego, presented on the pitfalls and opportunities in seizure diaries. One common disadvantage of seizure diaries is that self-reporting (users logging their seizures in the diary) is often poor and varies from person to person. But updates to tools like the Epilepsy Foundation My Seizure Diary have found ways around this issue.

For example, reminder notifications that ask simple questions like, “Did you have any events yesterday?” can lead the user to clicking “Yes” or “No.” After making their selection, they can provide more detail. If they forget to log more detail, the user and their medical provider at least has a little more information on their seizure frequency. Other updates to the diary, like tracking medications, triggers, and side effects, all provide additional data points beyond just seizure tracking.

Epilepsy Foundation Shark Tank Competition

Every year, the Epilepsy Foundation Shark Tank Competition asks for novel concepts that can change the landscape of epilepsy treatment and care. Six finalists compete in front of a panel of judges to receive awards totaling up to $125,000 for their idea. Each judge has $25,000 to give away and the audience has $75,000.

When they say there is nothing good about epilepsy, I disagree. I think there is hope in epilepsy, said actor John O’ Hurley, host of the 2018 Shark Tank Competition.

The winners this year:

  • Jeff Levine MIM and Aaron Bernstein PhD of Advanced Scanners won $150,000 ($75,000 from the judges and $75,000 from the audience) for “3D Machine Vision System for Surgical Navigation of the Human Brain.” This project aims to track brain shift, which occurs when the bone Advanced Scanners Shark Tank.pngcovering the brain is opened, and reduce navigational error for surgeons. Such errors during surgery can cause preventable lifelong disabilities.
  • Joshua M. Sherman MD and Todd P. Change MD, MACM, won $50,000 from the judges for “Virtual Reality Medical Simulation for the Management of Status Epilepticus.” This project is an immersive module that uses virtual reality technology to train health professionals in emergency situations, like status epilepticus, at a lower cost.

With the Shark Tank competition, the day ended on a high note by highlighting all the future possibilities in the epilepsy research pipeline. Thank you to all the finalists and the judges. Learn more about the winners, the finalists, and judges.

Lifetime Accelerator Award

2018 Lifetime Accelerator Awardee Wolfgang Löscher PhD

The winner of the 2018 Lifetime Accelerator Award this was Wolfgang Löscher PhD. Dr. Löscher has made many contributions to the field of epilepsy research, including the development of new medications. Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Löscher’s research team helped identify the first available animal model of refractory seizures. These models were used to characterize mechanisms involved in drug resistance and to find new drugs with better efficacy.

I’m incredibly honored to join the group of past awardees, said Dr. Löscher. I look forward to a continued relationship with the Epilepsy Foundation.

The Lifetime Accelerator Award was established in 2012 to honor physicians, scientists, industry leaders, and others who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to bringing new therapies to people living with epilepsy.

Learn More

Authored by

Liz Dueweke MPH

Reviewed by

Patty Obsorne Shafer RN, MN

Reviewed Date

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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