About the Program.
Project ECHO® Ontario: Epilepsy Across the Lifespan is a technology-enabled, collaborative, CPD-accredited learning program that partners community health care providers and epilepsy specialists to enhance care for children, adolescents and adults living with epilepsy. Our epilepsy interdisciplinary team connects with providers in communities across Ontario via one-to-many videoconferencing for TeleECHO® sessions, usually held over the lunch hour. Sessions can be accessed from a smart device or laptop from anywhere with an internet connection, for ease of participation. The format of the TeleECHO® session leverages interactive case-based learning, with de-identified cases presented by community health care providers. The session closes with a quick 10-minute didactic talk delivering relevant clinical pearls on a topic of interest.
About Epilepsy Genetics.
Epilepsy is a clinically heterogeneous disease with diverse etiologies. Advances in molecular genetics over the last ten years have led to an explosion of novel genes implicated in monogenic and complex genetic epilepsies. Therefore, genetic testing now has become a critical part of the diagnostic evaluation of adults and children with epilepsy to identify genetic epilepsy syndromes, guide treatment, optimize genetic counseling, and bring closure and peace of mind to the families of those with a genetic disease whether treatable or not.
About Epilepsy in Ontario.
Epilepsy is second only to headache among common neurological conditions in Ontario, but the burden of illness of epilepsy is far greater. Epilepsy impacts approximately 90,000 Ontarians and 6,000 new cases of epilepsy diagnosed each year. Epilepsy can have a significant impact on quality of life. People with epilepsy are 71% more likely to have a concurrent mental health disorder in their lifetime.
Many individuals with epilepsy, when diagnosed appropriately, can be treated effectively with antiepileptic drugs. An estimated 30% have drug-resistant epilepsy, experiencing seizures that do not respond to treatment with two or more appropriate trials of antiepileptic drug therapy. Other treatment options include surgery, diet therapy and neurostimulation.