Epilepsy Genetics Spycraft, UGDH, and Mardi Gras

The gene on your hand. We should never apologize for telling people about genetic epilepsies, we should apologize for not telling people enough about it. At the 2024 Mardi Gras celebration of the Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania, I had the honor of being given the Charley and Peggy Roach Founders’ & Eric Burton Osberg Award, also known as “Philadelphia Epilepsy Medical Professional of the Year”. I am quite sure that there must have been a data entry error or that the selection committee slipped in the line when they made this decision. Many of our epilepsy nurses, nurse practitioners, EEG techs, researchers, and physicians caring for people with epilepsy in Eastern PA would have been much more eligible for this honor than myself. However, given this unlikely opportunity, I used my moment on the stage to highlight our team and dedicate this award to Connor Maule, one of my patients who passed away from a rare genetic epilepsy in 2021. To honor Connor and epilepsy patients alike, I asked the audience to take a gene home with them – signing their hands with a gene name using a sharpie.

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