We are requesting NINDS support for a Gordon Research Conference on Mechanisms of Epilepsy and Neuronal Synchronization to be held August 19-24, 2012, at Waterville Valley Resort in New Hampshire. The main goal of the study of seizures is to identify the mechanisms underlying synchronous electrical discharges in neuronal networks in order to develop more effective treatments and cures for epilepsy. A unique, intellectually challenging aspect of epilepsy research arises from the fact that it encompasses virtually all major levels of biological organization, from genes and ion channels to circuits and behavior. The major purpose of this Gordon Research Conference is to bring together geneticists, molecular biologists, developmental neuroscientists, neuroanatomists, electrophysiologists, and computational neuroscientists working on basic mechanisms related either directly or indirectly to seizure generation to synthesize current advances and set the stage for future discoveries. The theme of the current conference is Functional Reorganization in the Epileptic Brain, and the topics to be covered include: 1) Epileptogenesis: Can we prevent it? 2) Seizure generation: Where and how do seizures begin? 3) Circuit Analysis and Dynamics in Epilepsy: Novel approaches;4) Interneurons: Types, control and dysfunction in epilepsy;5) Chloride Homeostasis: Are there alterations in epilepsy? 6) Developmental Epilepsies and Co-morbidities: Are there common mechanisms? and 7) Channel Reorganization in the Epileptic Brain: Do genetic alterations suggest treatment targets? Our goals are to disseminate the latest scientific advances, foster productive new insights and collaborations, stimulate an interest in epilepsy research among young investigators;and set the stage for new translational studies that will bring the newest discoveries to the treatment of epilepsy in the shortest possible time.
Epilepsy is a chronic condition that affects 50 million people worldwide. Development of novel therapeutic strategies to better treat and potentially prevent and cure this devastating condition requires scientific advances to increase our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for epilepsy. This conference will bring together experts from all over the world in an intensive, immersing environment to present and discuss novel findings, facilitate dissemination of knowledge and spawn collaborations. This should significantly advance research directed towards better treatment of epilepsy.