FP7 De­sire Epilepsy project meet­ing held in Malta

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

The fourth an­nual meet­ing of the FP7 project De­sire: Re­search to im­prove di­ag­no­sis, pre­ven­tion and treat­ment in chil­dren with dif­fi­cult to treat epilepsy was held at the Val­letta cam­pus, Univer­sity of Malta, be­tween 17 and 19 Oc­to­ber.

The De­sire project, which fo­cusses on genes that cause mal­for­ma­tions in the brain caus­ing epilepsy in child­hood, brings to­gether over 100 re­searchers from 28 re­search groups from seven EU coun­tries and also Aus­tralia.

Epilepsy is a se­ri­ous dis­ease with se­ri­ous ef­fects on pa­tients and their fam­i­lies. EU Re­search com­mis­sioner Car­los Moedes has re­cently high­lighted De­sire as a key EU-funded epilepsy re­search project. He re­it­er­ated that re­search in epilepsy is vi­tal since the con­di­tion af­fects over six mil­lion per­sons in Europe and costs over €20bn per year. There is an ur­gent need for greater aware­ness, bet­ter pre­ven­tion, ear­lier di­ag­no­sis and bet­ter care. This must be done us­ing a per­son­alised ap­proach.

The co-or­di­na­tor, Prof. Renzo Guer­rini, Univer­sity of Florence ex­plained how De­sire has led to unique net­work­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties and is com­ing out with some im­por­tant re­sults. The meet­ing fo­cussed on re­cent break­ing re­sults and net­work­ing among the var­i­ous work pack­ages.

Pro­fes­sor Jef­frey L. Noebels from the Bay­lor Col­lege of Medicine, Houston, Texas and Pro­fes­sor Char­lotte Dravet who dis­cov­ered the gene re­spon­si­ble for Dravet Syn­drome, also con­trib­uted to the sci­en­tific dis­cus­sions.

The meet­ing was co-or­di­nated by the Univer­sity of Malta part­ner, Pro­fes­sor Janet Mif­sud, Depart­ment of Clin­i­cal Phar­ma­col­ogy and Ther­a­peu­tics, in con­junc­tion with the Univer­sity of Malta Con­fer­ence Unit and Project Sup­port Of­fice. For more in­for­ma­tion about the project visit www.epilep­sy­de­sire­pro­ject.eu

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