What to Expect at the 2015 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting

Ruben Kuzniecky, MD, outlines what to expect at this year's American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting.

The 69th meeting of the American Epilepsy Society is due to take place December 4-8 in Philadelphia, and will include promising and highly-informative programs on basic and clinical research in epilepsy.

The annual meeting is an important venue for young professionals and fellows to interact with researchers and AES leadership, and attendees should take advantage of receptions and meet-and-greet networking events throughout the meeting.

The official program kicks off on Friday, December 4 with special symposiums on malformations of cortical development and epilepsy and fundamentals of epilepsy video electroencephalogram monitoring.

This year’s Judith Hoyer Lecture, which will take place on Friday, December 4, will be given by Jacqueline French MD, professor and director of translational research and clinical trials at NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, and will focus on problems faced during epilepsy diagnosis.

There is also a lot of excitement building for the Presidential Symposium taking place on Saturday, December 5. The symposium will focus on reaching a cure for epilepsy through disease modification and prevention, emphasizing the role of disease-modifying therapy for epilepsy and the approaches, problems, and pathways for the future.

In addition, I would also recommend attending the Translational Research Symposium where the interpretation of clinical trials and discovery of preclinical compounds will be discussed. Presenters at this symposium will also review a critical analysis of the impact of inadequate preclinical data on the development of new therapies.

This year’s Merritt-Putnam Symposium, taking place Monday, December 7, will address networks in epilepsy, including the functional imaging of networks as well as the electrophysiology, cells, and brain networks involved in cognition and epilepsy surgery. This will be most interesting as data suggests that brain networks may be more than simply focal areas of dysfunction in epilepsy. The program will wrap-up with a scientific symposium on the role of personalized medicine in epilepsy and the possibility of emerging gene therapy and specific models that may be useful to search for therapies.

The meeting also has a number of special interest groups which focus on specific areas of epilepsy, including pediatrics, critical care, genetics, and much more. I encourage attendees to view the AES program to identify any special interest group sessions that may be relevant to them.

Overall, this year’s meeting looks to be very informative, with content and events spanning both clinical and research themes. I encourage any specialist, especially those with interest in epilepsy, to attend the AES annual meeting.

For more information about the 2015 AES Annual Meeting, go here

Ruben Kuzniecky, MD, is Co-Director of the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and Director of Epilepsy Research at NYU Langone, and is a member of the Neurology Advisor Editorial Board. He is also Co-Principal Investigator of the Epilepsy Phenome Genome Project (EPGP) and Co-Principal Investigator of the Human Epilepsy Project.