A Canadian researcher is receiving $130,000 to further his research into the origin of epilepsy seizures through the Susan S. Spencer Clinical Research Training Fellowship funded by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Foundation, the American Epilepsy Society, and the Epilepsy Foundation. Piero Perucca, MD,a postdoctoral fellow in epilepsy at McGill University in Montreal Canada, was awarded the fellowship for his work investigating special forms of electrical activity in the brain of patients with epilepsy to better define where seizures originate.

The two-year award will consist of an annual salary of $55,000, plus $10,000 per year in educational expenses. The award recognizes the importance of epilepsy clinical research with the goal of providing better treatment, prevention or cure of the disease. The fellowship will be presented today during the American Academy of Neurology's 63rd Annual Meeting in Honolulu, which is the world's largest meeting of neurologists with more than 10,000 attendees.

Clinical research is the fundamental transition stage between discovery and treatment. Clinical research provides the scientific basis for all forms of care, addresses patient and caregiver needs, and is the backbone for drug development and cost-effectiveness studies needed to improve lives. Fellowships provide recipients with up to three years of "protected time" with salary which allows them to continue important research projects in their chosen interests.

Epilepsy is a common neurologic disorder that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions. Seizures are episodes of disturbed brain function that cause changes in attention or behavior. They are caused by abnormally excited electrical signals in the brain. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy. Epilepsy is a family of more than 40 syndromes that affects more than three million people in the United States and 50 million worldwide.

Source: American Academy of Neurology (AAN)

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