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One in 26

April 10, 2012

IOM President Harvey Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D. described epilepsy as “a problem remarkably hidden for such a visible illness,” and later commented that the condition is “a very serious problem that has been too long neglected as a public health concern."

One in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime.  That’s a staggering statistic for a disease that has received so little attention and is one of the oldest known to mankind. Nobody is immune, though it strikes children and seniors at the highest rates.

This was just one of the findings of the landmark IOM (Institute of Medicine) report that was released in Washington on March 30.  It’s an almost 400 page report, which details many recommendations–most with a public health focus–that will address this enormously challenging and devastating spectrum of syndromes we call epilepsy.

We’re just absorbing and processing the recommendations, and will disseminate over time.  If you’re interested, you can read more here.

Mary Jane England, Chair for the Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of the Epilepsies

Committee members Christianne Heck and Joan Kessner Austin

Most importantly, though, in terms of our mission, the report cites a study showing how few government dollars are invested in epilepsy research compared to other neurological diseases (when adjusted for number of patients), which reinforces our analysis, and how the focus of epilepsy research needs to increasingly focus on cures and preventative approaches, rather than simply seizure suppression–great confirmation of our beliefs at CURE, and our research focus!

P.S. If you’re in the Bay Area, don’t forget about our upcoming San Francisco Benefit next Tuesday, with special guest Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn).  Even if you can’t attend, you can still support the benefit. Text CURE to 52000 to donate $10. Also, you’ll be entered to win 2 tickets AND an autographed Shaquille O’Neal shoe!

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