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Epilepsy Foundation to host annual pediatric epilepsy conference

ALBANY In an effort to better educate the 40,000 children and families throughout northeastern New York affected by epilepsy and to help healthcare professionals involved in the treatment of epilepsy provide the highest level of care, the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York will host its annual Pediatric Epilepsy Conference. This years conference, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 2, will be held at the Italian American Community Center, 257 Washington Avenue Ext., from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The conferences headline speaker will be Dr. Blaise Bourgeois, director of the Division of Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology at Boston Childrens Hospital, who will discuss recent advances in anti-epileptic drug therapy for children and host an "Ask the Doctor" segment. "Those attending the conference will come away with a fuller understanding of how to cope with behavioral issues in young children that result from epilepsy and from anti-epileptic medications," said EFNENY community epilepsy educator Julie Eisele. "Parents will also learn strategies to help them and their children cope with the memory, attentional and learning issues caused by epilepsy and anti-epileptic medications, as well as receive advice on parenting a child with epilepsy." The admission cost for the event of $10 for EFNENY members and $15 for nonmembers includes continental breakfast and lunch. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 456-7501. An estimated three million Americans are living with epilepsy, a condition that occurs when a brief, strong surge of electrical activity affects either part or all of the brain. Of that total, more than 300,000 children under the age of 18 are newly diagnosed. The life altering condition affects many aspects of cognitive and motor development in young children and also limits a teens ability to participate in many educational, social and recreational opportunities. A new diagnosis can also place a tremendous strain on families, as they begin to come to terms with epilepsy, how its treated, and what to expect. "Children with epilepsy and their families struggle to maintain normalcy in their lives each day due to epilepsys side effects," said EFNENY executive director Jeannine Garab. "Our hope is to bring the regions best pediatric epilepsy physicians together to educate children and teens living with epilepsy and their families about the latest treatment options, while also giving them the tools to maintain a good quality of life.

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