As a researcher at the University of Colorado Denver working on epilepsy, I've witnessed first hand how difficult it can be to find funding for studies related to epilepsy. While most research focuses on controlling epileptic seizures, my research explores metabolic changes in chronic seizures. Because the focus of my team's research is outside the mainstream of the field, it has been challenging to find funding.
Despite affecting more Americans than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson's disease combined, funding for epilepsy research continues to lag behind other neurological disorders. Alzheimer's researchers, for example, receive over three times as much funding per patient as epilepsy. MS researchers receive eight times as much.
Recently, however, we received a grant from Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), a non-profit, based in Chicago, that raises money for epilepsy research. The CURE Innovator Award, which we received in December of 2009, sought out novel studies that have the potential to reveal exciting new avenues for investigation. These high-risk, high reward studies offer hope to the millions who suffer from this disorder that we may one day better understand the causes of epilepsy and be able to find a cure.
Founded in 1998 by a group of mothers fed up with the status quo, CURE has raised over $11 million to fund epilepsy research and other initiatives that will lead the way to a cure for this overlooked disorder. Their efforts have resulted in some of the most important developments in epilepsy research to date.
Now, much in the spirit of CURE's founding, a group of Coloradans--many of whom have been affected by epilepsy--is doing their part to contribute to epilepsy research. They are hosting a local fundraiser in Denver tomorrow, January 28th, to benefit CURE and raise more funds for this critical type of research. Susan Axelrod, CURE Chair and Founder, will be be in town to speak at the event. More information for this event can be found on CURE's website.