U.S. Department of Defense Allocates $7.5 million to Epilepsy Research

On July 17, 2014, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that it will allocate $7.5 million to epilepsy research due to the alarming increase of people diagnosed with epilepsy because of Traumatic Brain Injuries sustained in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2006. This initiative was led by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and Susan Axelrod of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE).

CHICAGO, July 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — “CURE applauds the announcement today from the U.S. Department of Defense – allocating $7.5 million dedicated to epilepsy research – and thanks Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) for his leadership on this issue. The incidence of epilepsy increased by an alarming 52 percent from 2006 to 2010, with approximately 8 percent of those afflicted having been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI)[1]. Twenty-four percent of military related epilepsy is associated with prior TBI.[2]

“In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the ‘signature wound’ was traumatic brain injury. Those who suffer severe TBI face up to a 50 percent chance of developing Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE), with the symptoms of epilepsy (seizures) manifesting themselves immediately or even up to fifteen years post-injury.[3] The mechanisms underlying the development of epilepsy, or epileptogenesis, are complex and not fully understood.

“CURE is grateful for the continued support of Senator Durbin and others who back our effort to find a cure for this disease through research and by increasing awareness of epilepsy’s prevalence and devastating consequences for patients and their families.  Investing in research is the cornerstone of discovery and an ultimate cure.”

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