AES Press Releases
Neuroscientist from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute to Receive
American Epilepsy Society 2013 Award for Clinical Science
West Hartford, Conn., December 7, 2013– Thorbjorn Tomson, M.D., Ph.D., of Sweden, widely recognized as an organizer and administrator of large international clinical research projects in epilepsy, has been named recipient of the prestigious 2013 Epilepsy Research Recognition Award for Clinical Science conferred by the American Epilepsy Society (AES). Dr. Tomson is professor of neurology and epidemiology in the department of clinical neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. The award recognizes Dr. Tomson for pioneering research in anticonvulsant drug pharmacokinetics and metabolism, pregnancy outcomes in association with anticonvulsant drug exposure, and sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP).p>
The AES Epilepsy Research Recognition Award is part of the Society’s public recognition program to encourage and reward basic and clinical investigators whose research contributes importantly to the understanding and conquest of epilepsy. Dr. Tomson’s work has had immediate clinical relevance and global impact in guiding epilepsy management. He will receive this year’s clinical science award on December 7th during the AES 67th annual meeting and scientific conference at the Washington, DC, Convention Center.
In announcing the award, John Huguenard, Ph.D., who chairs the AES awards committee, said, “Dr. Thomson has an extraordinary ability to organize and engage his international colleagues in projects that would be difficult at best, and considerably less productive to accomplish on a lesser scale. He has enhanced our understanding of epilepsy and greatly influenced clinical practice in the care of patients with the disorder. It is with a deep sense of pleasure that we honor him with this award.”
Dr. Thomson is the initiator and chair of EURAP, an international anticonvulsant drug and pregnancy registry that currently has some 40 participating countries. He is co-initiator of MORTEMUS, the first international initiative to collect cases of SUDEP, a project aimed at providing a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying SUDEP. He is also a collaborator with international colleagues studying the genetic susceptibility to SUDEP.
Dr. Tomson has shown for the first time that people with active epilepsy have an altered variability in heart rate, which correlates with a higher risk of SUDEP. He was among the first to offer high level evidence that poor seizure control and generalized tonic-clonic seizures versus milder seizures are SUDEP risk factors and more important than anticonvulsant drug factors. He has also contributed to defining other risk factors and general rate of mortality in epilepsy.
An active member of the professional community concerned with epilepsy, Dr. Tomson is co-founder and former secretary of the Swedish Chapter of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), and a frequent member on ILAE Commissions, often in a leadership position. He is author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications, and a like number of review articles, book chapters and published commentaries.
The epilepsies affect 50 million people worldwide, including three million in the United States. The disorder can have a single specific, well-defined cause, such as a head injury, or manifest as a syndrome with a complex of symptoms. It is the third most common neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.
About the American Epilepsy Society (AES)
The American Epilepsy Society, based in West Hartford, Conn, seeks to advance and improve the treatment of epilepsy through the promotion of epilepsy research and education for healthcare professionals. Society membership includes physicians and scientists who study and treat epilepsy (epileptologists) and allied professionals who care for people with seizure disorders.
Peter Van Haverbeke, AES Media Relations, cell 703-927-9639
Natalie Judd, Big Voice Communications, cell 203-605-9515, office 203-389-5223
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