Curing the Epilepsies 2013: Pathways Forward 04/17/2013 to 04/19/2013
Natcher Conference Center
Bethesda, Maryland
United States
Mapping Brain Variability in Human Populations. Just as faces differ among different individuals, brain structure varies even among normal individuals, and even more so in disease. This map displays the magnitude and principal directions of anatomical variability in the brain, based on a group of 40 normal subjects scanned with MRI. Pink colors indicate brain regions with large anatomical variability across subjects, blue colors low variability. The ellipsoidal glyphs are elongated along directions in which variation is greatest. The nested, transparent glyphs represent the probabilities of different anatomical variations, and are used to detect abnormal anatomical differences in Alzheimer's Disease. These maps help distinguish pathological changes from normal variations. 
image by Paul Thompson, Andrew Lee, Kiralee Hayashi, Agatha Lee, and Arthur Toga
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Epilepsy Research Benchmarks:  In 2000 and 2007, NINDS sponsored Curing Epilepsy conferences in partnership with nongovernmental organizations and other Federal agencies to assess the state of epilepsy research and identify needs and new directions. These conferences led to the development and subsequent revision of the Epilepsy Research Benchmarks, a series of goals for research toward cures for the epilepsies, defined as no seizures, no side effects, and the prevention of epilepsy in those at risk. The Benchmarks are meant to engage the entire epilepsy community in advancing research, including the NIH, NIH grantees and other researchers, and epilepsy professional and patient organizations.

Benchmarks Breakout Sessions 
On the last day of the conference, participants will consider updates to the Epilepsy Research Benchmarks for the next 5-10 years.  

The current Benchmarks are organized around three main goals: 
Benchmark Area I - Prevent epilepsy and its progression
Benchmark Area II - Develop new therapeutic strategies and optimize current  approaches to cure epilepsy
-                    Benchmark Area III - Prevent, limit, and reverse the co-morbidities associated with epilepsy and its treatment

Breakout groups (one for each area) will discuss potential updates to the content and organization of these goals. Discussions should be informed by the conference’s scientific sessions, and by the following background materials related to the 2007 Benchmarks and other input into research opportunities and challenges.  Further guidance will be provided during the breakout sessions. 

-                  2007-2012 Progress snapshot (a table view of progress on 2007 Benchmarks based on the 2007-2012 Progress Report prepared by the Epilepsy Research Benchmark Stewards; the full report is available on the NINDS website:

-                    Integrated summary of input on research opportunities provided by the Stewards and received in response to an NINDS RFI

-                    Recommendations and priorities related to biomedical research from the 2012 IOM report, Epilepsy across the Spectrum: Promoting Health and Understanding