WANTED: VOLUNTEERS AND DONORS

Epilepsy is as prevelant as diabetes but very little money is raised each year for epilepsy research. Our goal is to raise these critically needed funds. The foundation needs your help. Several research projects on the ketogenic diet and the magnetoencephalography are underway that need your support.

Pediatric Epilepsy Research: The main focus pediatric epilepsy research is on the ketogenic diet. For years, doctors, nurses and dietitians have witnessed the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet in both children and adults but the reason for its success is still a mystery. No one knows for sure how the diet works, how it interacts with the body to prevent seizures. It is the goal of our scientists to answer this decades-old question.

The second project is to explore the ketogenic diet's effect on cognitive functioning. Besides preventing seizures, it is believed that the diet improves patients' cognitive functioning. Nurses, dietitians and neuropsychologists are working to prove this theory and therefore establish the ketogenic diet as a mechanism not only to prevent seizures but to improve cognitive functioning. This finding will improve the lives of many young epilepsy patients by helping them during their formative, learning years.

Scientists also are developing nutritional research on the ketogenic diet to determine the diet's long term effects on a patient's health. It is often debated that the diet's high fat content makes it a risky treatment for many patients. Scientists will determine the diet's nutritional safety, the effects on cholesteral and triglyceride levels and any long term residual effects on the person's health.

Magnetoencephalography in Epilepsy: It is vital to have more alternatives for diagnosing and localizing seizures noninvasively. With the use of a new whole head 128 channel MEG, our scientists are continuing to refine the use of several diagnostic procedures to do this. The MEG also is being used in brain mapping of brain tumors and the sensorimotor area.

Currently, researchers are developing an intricate process of localizing seizure origin via the use of traditional means - video EEG telemetry, WADA testing, neuropsychometric testing, MRI and PET - and adding more noninvasive procedures such as the MEG, functional MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and SPECT. By combining the noninvasive tests and correlating the information researchers believe they will be better able to localize the zone of seizure origin and therefore more safely remove the seizure zone without disturbing vital brain functioning such as language, motor and memory. In addition these new diagnostic methods, scientists continue to collaborate with other doctors and researchers from across the country to investigate memory function after epilepsy surgery, attention and autism and the use of Flumazenil PET to identify focal epileptogenic zones.

If you are interested in donating to epilepsy research or if you would like to volunteer your time to help the foundation in their fundraising effort please contact Jeri Sutherling at (626)792-7300 regarding your charitable contribution. Please indicate the project you wish to support when making your donation.

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