The 30th International Epilepsy Congress was in Montreal, Canada. It was a joint effort between two organizations, the IBE (International Bureau of Epilepsy) and the ILAE (International League Against Epilepsy), to garner more knowledge about the field. The congress was in 2013 from June 23 to 27.
When Are The Congresses Held?
These congresses are every two years. This meeting was particularly special because it was the first congress held in North America in thirty years. Also, the administrators chose Canada to host the venue which was unique because the United States is often a prime location for medical gatherings.
What was Discussed?
Each convention focuses on a plethora of ideas. The main topics in this congress were epilepsy surgery, stigma, the epileptic focus, withdrawal of AEDs, classification and focal cortical dysplasias. During this meeting, the organizers tried out a “Meet the Expert” feature. This allowed participants to talk more in depth with pioneers in the field, and even have debates with them. Speak with the experts is now a regular addition for future congresses.
There are various types of participants in these congresses. There are of course delegates from IBE and ILAE. The representatives are invited and usually play an active role in the events of the congress. These participants are given a discounted fee to the congress because they are members of one of these two groups.
There are also medical professionals that want to attend the congress. These professionals are more than welcome to the congress. The professionals pay a fee and attend many of the session.
There is also a discount for attendants who are under 40. This encourages new talent to join in these symposiums. It is a great way for younger professionals to continue to gain the latest knowledge in their field. These neurologists and other doctors can then go back to their practices with advanced information regarding how to treat their patients with epilepsy. They can also train other practitioners in the hospital with new techniques that they learned. Often these participants are advocates for new technology that hospitals can acquire to diagnose and treat patients with epilepsy.
Sometimes non-medical caregivers for those with epilepsy like to attend the congress. There is a place for these carers as well in the congress. They gain access to panels and information that is relevant to their level of expertise.
Are all the Members Doctors?
The members of ILAE are not all neurologists. Some are also professionals that help with writing the medical journal “Epilepsia.” Writers disseminate knowledge through this journal to the academic community, epilepsy caretakers and practitioners across the globe. Because this is an international organization, many of these members are also translators that work tirelessly to make sure that the distribution can have a truly global audience.
These congresses represent people from across the world. They all come together for the common purpose of helping to fight against epilepsy in the population.