Autism and Epilepsy Communities Working Together Toward a Common Goal!
Greetings from Bethesda, where I’m attending a landmark workshop at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)! CURE is co-sponsoring this conference along with the NIH and Autism Speaks. How exciting to see these two communities coming together for two full days to learn each other’s “language,” and really delve into what we need to do to figure out what the shared mechanisms are between these conditions, which affect so many kids. A good number of patients with autism have seizures, with estimates as high as 40%–and often this happens in adolescence. And so many kids–particularly when their seizures are poorly controlled–develop autism. We need to understand why, and how to get to solutions for all.
It’s hard to leave here without realizing that the task ahead of us is enormous, but that we are so much further ahead just by virtue of having met! Presentations and conversations throughout the workshop are certain to lead to collaborations. Presentations on resources like databases, brain banks and research networks have the potential to be shared and potentially merged, adding value for all researchers and clinicians.
It’s very inspiring! Thanks to so many from Autism Speaks and the NIH for their vision and leadership!