The European Epilepsy Academy (EUREPA), recently organised a Pan European Train the Trainers course in Malta for 20 neurologists from over 15 countries. Participants came from various countries such as the Netherlands, UK, Lithuania, Finland, Serbia, Montenegro, Armenia, Austria, and Croatia.
EUREPA secretary Janet Mifsud, from the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, was the local organiser and one of the certified trainers, together with Prof. Peter Wolf, president of the International League Against Epilepsy.
Epilepsy is the most chronic neurological condition and it affects one per cent of the population worldwide. The condition encompasses a range of functional disorders of the brain, the common characteristic of which is a series of repetitive unprovoked seizures. There are over 40 types of seizures.
Most epileptic seizures last somewhere between a few seconds and a few minutes. These may be single and isolated or may occur in a series usually manifesting themselves as unusual bodily movements, effects on consciousness, and altered behaviour, depending on the part of the brain that is malfunctioning.
Very often, the cause of epilepsy is unknown, although some may begin to experience seizures following trauma such as a car accident, or tumours. Unfortunately despite advances in therapy and treatment there is still a stigma associated with this condition.
EUREPA is the European education arm of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), and is an association that aims to improve epileptological knowledge and the quality of care throughout Europe, by building up a network of co-ordinated, certified epileptological educational activities throughout Europe.
It offers and develops e-learning courses via the internet platform Virtual Epilepsy Academy (VIREPA), and conducts trainer courses with multinational participation to ensure quality epileptological education in many European languages and countries. It also initiates and co-ordinates projects and research on matters relating to epilepsy particularly suited for transnational European action.