Epilepsy Researcher to be Honored with Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award

St. Paul, Minn., – Terence O’Brien, MD, FRACP, an associate professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia, has been selected to receive the 2006 Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award for his work in epilepsy research. O’Brien will receive the award during the American Academy of Neurology’s 58th Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif., held April 9 – 16. Named for two epileptologists who made outstanding contributions to the epilepsy field, the Dreifuss-Penry Award recognizes physicians in the early stages of their careers who have made an independent contribution to epilepsy research. O’Brien’s research has focused on developing new imaging techniques that allow doctors to better determine where in the brain seizures are occurring in people whose seizures have been unable to be controlled with medications. “The outcome of this research has allowed epilepsy surgery, with the prospect of long-term seizure control, to be offered to people who would not previously have been considered suitable candidates for an operation,” O’Brien said. O’Brien has also investigated why individuals respond differently to epilepsy drugs, and the mechanisms underlying the adverse side effects some patients develop on the drugs. “This research will assist in improving outcomes and safety of medical treatment for individual patients with epilepsy,” he said. The award is endowed by members of the AAN Epilepsy Section and also by Abbott Laboratories, Inc., Cephalon, Inc., Cyberonics, Inc., Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Pfizer Inc, Shire US, Inc. and UCB Pharma. The 58th Annual Meeting takes place in the San Diego Convention Center. It is the world’s largest annual gathering of neurologists.

The American Academy of Neurology is the world's largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with 34,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

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