On the eve of Veteran’s Day, Tammy Haddad welcomed CURE Epilepsy friends and supporters on behalf of Connie Milstein and Father Rick Curry co-founders of Dog Tag Bakery for a CURE Epilepsy fundraiser Tuesday night. (ret) Marine Sgt. John Lira, a recent Dog Tag program graduate, started the evening off with a salute to all our servicemen and women and veterans.
Susan Axelrod announced a grant from the Department of Defense to work together to research the effects of traumatic brain injury and epilepsy, while David Axelrod held a sign with a picture of his beautiful daughter Lauren who has suffered so much because there is no cure for epilepsy.
The evening came alive with the entrance of Singer Songwriter Paul Simon. He performed his hits from the Dog Tag stage and enjoyed dinner with 70 supporters. Senator Al Franken joked with Paul Simon as the audience sang along to his hits. Simon delighted the crowd by greeting guests at each table in the educational center of Dog Tag Bakery. Paul Simon previously supported CURE by appearing at their Chicago event last year.
Guests included top White House aides Valerie Jarrett, Shailagh Murray, Lisa Monaco, and Sylvia Burwell plus Obama campaign veterans Joel and Lisa Benenson, Jim and Vicki Margolis, Stephanie Cutter, and Erik Smith.
Dog Tag Bakery co-founder Connie Milstein is also on the board of CURE Epilepsy. CURE is still accepting contributions for the veterans’ research at
|CURE To Expand Work With Veterans’ Epilepsy Thanks To Department Of Defense Grant|
Grant to enhance research into the effects of traumatic brain injury in veterans.
Chicago, IL- Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy today announced that it will create a new research program and focus with a grant of approximately 10 million dollars over 5 years to go toward epilepsy research in veterans with traumatic brain injury. The grant was awarded by the Department of Defense, Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Program, award number W81XWH-15-2-0069.
The grant will support a team approach to researching the prevention and treatment of Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE). The incidence of epilepsy in active service members increased by an alarming 52 percent from 2006 to 2010.
Approximately 8 percent of those afflicted have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) , making it the most common predisposing condition. Twenty-four percent of military-related epilepsy is associated with prior TBI.
“Our veterans deserve much better after serving our country,” said Susan Axelrod, founding chair of CURE. “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. At CURE we are committed to exploring the complex underlying mechanisms of post-traumatic epilepsy and ways to treat it more effectively and one day even prevent it entirely.”
“CURE applauds the U.S. Department of Defense for dedicating this significant amount of resources to epilepsy research,” said Robin Harding, Chief Executive Officer. “We are grateful to those 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.”
“The next great breakthrough is not going to come from a single researcher working in isolation,” said Julie Milder, PhD, Associate Research Director at CURE and Program Officer for the DOD grant. “We strongly believe in the power of collaboration and its ability to move science forward faster. We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity to move team science into the area of post-traumatic epilepsy– one that is desperate for greater understanding.”
Next steps for the program include convening a meeting of key opinion leaders in epilepsy, traumatic brain injury and veterans’ health to determine opportunities of biggest impact over the next five years. The outcomes of the meeting will serve as the basis for the development of a targeted team science research program which will be announced through a request for applications in late spring.