Global Perspectives on Diagnosis and Management of Childhood Epilepsy Disorders: Focus on Dravet, Lennox-Gastaut, and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex


Elaine C. Wirrell, MD, FAAN, FRCPC
Chair and Professor of Child Neurology
Program Director of Child and Adolescent Neurology
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN
Elaine C. Wirrell, MD, FAAN, FRCPC

Dr. Elaine Wirrell is the Chair and Professor of Child Neurology and Program Director of Child and Adolescent Neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She completed medical school at the University of British Columbia and her Pediatric Neurology training at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dr. Wirrell is the past Co-chair of the Nosology and Status Epilepticus Task Force and a member of the Pediatrics Task Force of the International League Against Epilepsy. She serves as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of and is on the Medical Advisory Board for the Dravet Syndrome Foundation and the Lennox-Gastaut Foundation.

Dr. Wirrell?s main research interests are in early onset, medically intractable epilepsies including developmental and epileptic encephalopathies and epidemiology and comorbidities of pediatric epilepsy. Additionally, Dr. Wirrell is the recipient of the 2021 Kiffin-Penry Award from the American Epilepsy Society and the 2016 Distinguished Clinician award from Mayo Clinic.

Tracy Dixon-Salazar, PhD
Executive Director
Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) Foundation
San Diego, CA
Tracy Dixon-Salazar, PhD

Dr. Dixon-Salazar is a neuroscientist, geneticist, and patient advocate. Her desire to get her PhD was inspired by her daughter who developed Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) at the age of 2. She completed her PhD and postdoctoral work at UC, San Diego, where she studied the mechanisms of brain development and synaptic plasticity, identified genetic causes of rare disorders in children, and researched precision therapeutics in stem cell and animal models of pediatric disease. During her research tenure, and after 16 years of watching daily, unrelenting seizures in her child, she uncovered the driver of her daughter’s illness and identified a novel precision therapy that improved her child’s life.

Dr. Dixon-Salazar left academia after 15 years in the lab with a drive to decrease the amount of time it would take for patients to benefit from lab discoveries in epilepsy precision medicine. She worked as Associate Research Director at CURE Epilepsy helping to move funding forward for novel translational research in genomic medicine for patients with severe forms of pediatric-onset epilepsy. She then transitioned to the Director of Research and Strategy at the Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) Foundation where she worked directly with patients to access precision therapies and partnered with researchers, clinicians, regulators, policymakers, therapy developers, and other advocacy groups to build a sustainable precision medicine infrastructure for all patients with epilepsy. Currently, Dr. Dixon- Salazar serves as the Executive Director of the LGS Foundation, where the mission is to improve the lives of individuals impacted by LGS through advancing research, awareness, education, and family support

D. Samba Reddy, PhD, RPh, FAAAS, FAAPS, FAES
Regents Professor, Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics
Director, Institute of Pharmacology and Neurotherapeutics
Professor, Engineering Medicine, Biomedical Engineering
Texas A&M University School of Medicine
Bryan, TX
D. Samba Reddy, PhD, RPh, FAAAS, FAAPS, FAES

Dr. Samba Reddy is a Regents Professor of neuroscience and experimental therapeutics and the Director of Texas A&M Institute of Pharmacology and Neurotherapeutics at Texas A&M University School of Medicine. He is a board-certified pharmacist and pharmacologist who is dedicated to developing new treatments for epilepsy and brain disorders. He has received continuous funding from the NIH for 18 years and is the principal lead on several projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US Department of Defense (DOD), and other organizations, in fields such as epilepsy, chemical neurotoxicity and brain injury. Dr. Reddy has made groundbreaking contributions to the field of neurotherapeutics, including the discovery of the “neurosteroid replacement therapy” for epilepsy and women’s health. His research has paved the way for the FDA approval of two new neurosteroid medicines for post-partum depression (brexanolone) and refractory epilepsy (ganaxolone). He has published over 225 papers, five popular textbooks, and has mentored over 100 students and postdocs. He is a sought-after expert in his field and has been honored with numerous awards and recognition from prestigious organizations, including being named one of the world’s top 2% of scientists by Stanford University.

Adam Strzelczyk, MD, MHBA
Consultant Neurologist and Intensivist
Epilepsy Center Frankfurt Rhine-Main
Department of Neurology
Goethe-University Frankfurt and University Hospital Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Adam Strzelczyk, MD, MHBA

Adam Strzelczyk, MD, MHBA is a neurologist, geriatrician, and intensive care physician. His main research interests include health care research, clinical epileptology, electrophysiology, epileptic encephalopathies, and intensive care treatment of status epilepticus. He obtained his habilitation in 2014 at Philipps University Marburg on “Care, Cost of Illness, Morbidity and Mortality of Patients with Epilepsy.” Since 2006 he worked as a resident and since 2012 as a senior physician at the Epilepsy Center Hessen of the University Hospital Marburg in Germany. Since 2015 he has served as lead consultant and head of the Working Group on Health Economics and Outcome Research in Epilepsy at the Epilepsy Center Frankfurt Rhine-Main of the Goethe University Frankfurt. Since 2017 Dr. Strzelczyk has been a member of the executive board of the German ILAE chapter and serves as an editor of the Austrian, German, and Swiss epilepsy journal, “Clinical Epileptology “. Since 2015 he has served as a member of the executive board of the Austrian, German, and Swiss Working Group on Epilepsy Surgery, and as senior author of the Austrian, German, and Swiss quality guidelines for epilepsy surgery.

Bethany Thomas, DNP
Epilepsy Nurse Practitioner
Neurology NP Clinical Coordinator
Penn Medicine, Neurology Department
Philadelphia, PA
Bethany Thomas, DNP

Dr. Bethany Thomas is an Epilepsy Nurse Practitioner and the Lead NP Clinical Coordinator for the Department of Neurology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Thomas earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (along with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing) from Thomas Jefferson University.

Dr. Thomas has given several presentations at national scientific conferences on the treatment and care of pediatric and adult patients with epilepsy. She is the recipient of multiple Penn CARES grants (2015, 2016, 2018), the Miriam M. Powell Scholarship (2019), and the Barbara Todd Leadership Award (2022). She is a member of several professional societies and committees, including the American Academy of Neurology and the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners, and is a founding member of the American Epilepsy Society’s Advanced Practice Provider Committee.


Statement of Need

Unmitigated early-life seizures are associated with life-long physical, cognitive, and behavioral impairments. Early and accurate diagnosis of infantile and childhood seizure disorders is a crucial first step in identifying effective treatment that can mitigate the impacts of seizures on the developing brain. Unfortunately, diagnosis and subtype classification of early-onset epilepsies is frequently delayed until long after the seizures have begun. Clinicians need to confidently differentiate Dravet syndrome (DS), Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), as causes of seizure to form efficient strategies to treat these notoriously resistant conditions. Further, the diagnostic journey and disease management of children with epilepsy conditions is associated with significant quality of life (QoL) impacts on both the patient and family.

Please join expert faculty in this recorded CMEO webcast as they discuss topics including early diagnosis, patient/caregiver QoL, team-based care, the role of pharmaceutical cannabinoid (CBD) in treatment, and regulatory guidelines. Through this discussion learners will become acquainted with improved tactics to diagnose and treat early-life seizures.

Learning Objectives

  • Utilize validated assessment tools to achieve early and accurate differential diagnosis of rare childhood seizure disorders, including LGS, DS, and TSC.
  • Incorporate patient/caregiver QoL assessment and treatment goals into team-based management of pediatric seizure disorders.
  • Examine the role of pharmaceutical CBD in antiepileptic therapy, including outcomes data, formulation/dosing considerations, augmentation strategies, and regulatory requirements.

Financial Support

This program is supported by an independent medical education grant from Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Target Audience

Physicians, physician associates (PAs), nurse practitioners NPs), nurses, and pharmacists specializing pediatrics, neurology, primary care practicing in the U.S. and internationally.

Credit Information

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In support of improving patient care, CME Outfitters, LLC, is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Interprofessional (IPCE) 1.0

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Physicians (ACCME) 1.0

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Nurses (ANCC) 1.0

This activity is designated for 1.0 contact hour.

Note for California Nurses

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Pharmacists (ACPE) 1.0

This application-based activity is approved for 1.0 contact hour (0.10 CEUs) of continuing pharmacy credit.
Activity UAN: JA0007185-0000-23-028-H01-P

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Disclosure Declaration

It is the policy of CME Outfitters, LLC, to ensure independence, balance, objectivity, and scientific rigor and integrity in all of their CE activities. Faculty must disclose to the participants any relationships with commercial companies whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, or with the commercial supporter of this CE activity. CME Outfitters, LLC, has evaluated, identified, and mitigated any potential conflicts of interest through a rigorous content validation procedure, use of evidence-based data/research, and a multidisciplinary peer review process.

Dr. Wirrell reports the following financial relationships:

Advisory Board: Biohaven and Eisai Inc.

Consultant: DSMB for Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Amicus Therapeutics, Inc.; GRIN Therapeutics; and Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc.

Grants: Dravet Syndrome Foundation

Research Support: (all payments made to Mayo) Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; UCB, Inc.; and Zogenix, Inc.

Ms. Dixon-Salazar reports the following financial relationships:

Advisory Board: Neurelis, Inc.

Dr. Reddy reports no financial relationships to disclose.

Dr. Strzelczyk reports the following financial relationships:

Advisory Board: Desitin Arzneimittel GmbH; Jazz Pharmaceuticals/GW Pharmaceuticals; UCB, Inc.; and Zogenix

Consultant: Angelini Pharma; Biocodex; Desitin Arzneimittel GmbH; Jazz Pharmaceuticals/GW Pharmaceuticals; Precisis GmbH; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; UNEEG medical; UCB, Inc.; and Zogenix

Speakers Bureau: Angelini Pharma; Desitin Arzneimittel GmbH; Eisai Inc.; Jazz Pharmaceuticals/GW Pharmaceuticals; UCB, Inc.; and Zogenix

Dr. Thomas reports the following financial relationships:

Advisory Board: Neurelis, Inc. and SK Life Science, Inc.

Consultant: Greenwich Biosciences, Inc. and SK Life Science, Inc.

Speakers Bureau: Eisai Inc.; Greenwich Biosciences, Inc.; LivaNova; and SK Life Science, Inc.

Disclosures were obtained from the CME Outfitters, LLC staff; no disclosures to report:

  • Elizabeth Naber, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, CNRN, TCRN (peer reviewer)
  • Evan Luberger (planning committee)
  • Kellie Busby, PharmD (planning committee)
  • Susan H. Yarbrough, CHCP (planning committee)
  • Sandra Caballero, PharmD (planning committee)
  • Sharon Tordoff (planning committee)

Faculty of this CE activity may include discussions of products or devices that are not currently labeled for use by the FDA. The faculty have been informed of their responsibility to disclose to the audience if they will be discussing off-label or investigational uses (any uses not approved by the FDA) of products or devices.

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Global Perspectives on Diagnosis and Management of Childhood Epilepsy Disorders: Focus on Dravet, Lennox-Gastaut, and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex
Event Date: 05/03/2023