May 2013 Newsletter


Brain Cooling May Prevent Seizures

Injury-induced epilepsy can be the most difficult type to treat.  A possible new treatment option is on the horizon.  Researchers are finding that reducing the temperature of the affected area of the brain by less than 4 degrees can result in fewer, more brief seizures.

See full article by clicking here.




Epilepsy Foundation's Presence on Capitol Hill 4/23/13

Supporters and volunteers had a presence at over 170 Congressional meetings, in order to impact future decisions with regards to healthcare and budgets for organizations that are crucial to research and support of those with epilepsy.

To read the full article, click here.





What Are My Treatment Options? Online Chat


Join an online discussion "Epilepsy Chat:  What Are Your Treatment Options" on May 23rd at 6-7 pm.   Dr's Kevin Haas, M.D., Ph.D., and Joseph Neimat, M.D., M.S., of the Vanderbilt Epilepsy Center will be ready to answer your questions.


To register, click the 'Cover It Live' tab above.   For more information about the chat, click here:







 "It Happened at the Chocolate Fling"

It happened at the “Chocolate Fling.”  It happened for me as a moving emotional, perhaps mystical moment.  It came about in this way:  I was standing about 25 yards from the quartet while they were playing “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton.  This, in and of itself, was a serendipitous phenomenon as I watched and listened to classical instruments, being played by classically-trained musicians,  who were performing the classic rock that I grew up listening to as a teenager. 


At this exact time that bows met strings, there was a wonderful and respectful buzz of conversation emanating from those seated at the tables, as well as those who were standing.  Needless to say, the discussions were often muffled as the good-natured words were filtered through mouthfuls of mouth-watering chocolate. The banter blended with the notes, forming our own symphony of sorts.  From where I stood, I experienced a sudden epiphany.  From my perspective, we had become a part of something bigger than ourselves.  In short, it was a powerful experience to me.


Though I felt my notes are off-key since the hemorrhage of my cavernous malformation, the accompanying surgery, and the continuation of a daily dose of 400mg of lamotrigine, I still had a part to play in the concert.  Perhaps feeling off-key is common to us who are epileptic, but it is not unique to us. It would be intriguing to know if you have ever felt this way.  Have you? If you have felt this way, then listen, really listen, to Mother Teresa’s words as you take this moment to read the following quote:  We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.  But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.


At this point in the “Chocolate Fling,” I continued to gaze at the faces of the members of the quartet.  They were enjoying themselves as they offered their gift of music to us.  Their delight was subconsciously and consciously contagious.  And we unintentionally or intentionally were positively influenced by their notes and joined in with the music, even if some of us felt off-key.   This is how I experienced the “Chocolate Fling.”


While listening to the music, I observed, in a Sherlock Holmes’ manner, the details of the event, including the amusing stains of chocolate-smudged faces.  In addition to this levity, I observed the undeniable fact that there were participants who had epilepsy.  There were probably plenty of people like me who had epilepsy but it was just not that apparent.  All of the people gathered were in some way, shape or form participating in the endeavor of the Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Tennessee’s mantra – “Not another moment lost to seizures.” 


This massive fundraising event could not have happened without the behind the scenes, as well as the upfront, work of so many unsung and sometimes unseen people.  Perhaps they felt like drops in the ocean.  I saw Mickey McCamish, as well as Rita Fielding greeting the participants and walking around to ensure that the “Chocolate Fling” was going smoothly. Also in attendance was the Board of Directors comprised of the Executive Members and Members, though I do not know them well.  Finally, there were Southeast Tennessee Epilepsy Foundation volunteers who were engaged in conversations with those who attended, as well doing the “dirty work” of breaking down tables and cleaning up the trash. 


The notes, silent or noisy, on or off-key, of the Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Tennessee’s “Chocolate Fling” could be heard in places we may not know about for now.  Those notes, however, are the drops in the ocean of a commanding concert to combat epilepsy.  Just think of the nearly three million drops of those of us who have epilepsy.  Think of those whose lives we touch and the way their lives touch us.  Just think how big the ocean becomes because of the notes, silent or noisy, on or off-key, that we bring to the concert.  Keep on playing the tune of “not another moment lost to seizures.”

©2013 Epilepsy Foundation • 1 Siskin Plz • Chattanooga, TN 37403-1306 • (423) 634-1771