Epilepsy Toronto 2018 Annual Conference & AGM


Saturday, May 26th, 2018, 8:30am – 3:30pm

YMCA- 20 Grosvenor Street Toronto

Registration is now closed.

Downlaod a PDF of the Conferece Schedule HERE.

Epilepsy Conference: Knowledge is Power



Brain Monitoring and Modulation for Epilepsy

Dr. Taufik Valiante, MD PhD FRCS, Scientist, Krembil Research Institute; Neurosurgeon Toronto Western Hospital

Dr. Valiante will discuss how new approaches and technologies are being developed to monitor and change brain activity to stop seizures and what research will be done within this area over the next 6 years here in Ontario to improve seizure control and quality of life for people with epilepsy.

Interventions to Help Cope with Depression and Memory 

Dr. Mary Lou Smith, PhD, Professor, University of Toronto; Neuropsychologist Sick Kids Hospital Epilepsy Program

Dr. Smith will provide an update on the “EpUp” study results, discussing whether an intervention program designed to provide coping strategies for people with epilepsy improves symptoms of depression. She will also describe the new “STREAM” program that is being developed to provide coping strategies to people with epilepsy who have memory problems.

The Evolution of Epilepsy Genetics

Dr. McIntyre Burnham, PhD, Professor, University of Toronto; Neuropharmacologist; Co-Director of EpLink – The Epilepsy Research Program of the Ontario Brain Institute

Dr. Burnham will discuss the role of genetics in epilepsy, what significant research advances have been made to date, and what research will be done within this area over the next 6 years here in Ontario, ultimately highlighting how gene therapy can impact the life of someone living with epilepsy.


Connecting Families to Resources: Planning for a Good Life

Carolyn Fast, Manager of Outreach & Partnerships, Partners 4 Planning.

People with epilepsy often face a lot of challenges planning for the future of their children/family. In this session the speaker will share how P4P assist families by providing a wealth of practical strategies, creative tools and sustainable solutions designed to help individuals, families and caregivers take charge of the future, today. This includes managing transitions, financial planning, accessing resources like the RDSP, planning for housing etc.



 Impact of Epilepsy on Behaviour & School Performance

Elizabeth Kerr, PhD, Neuropsychologist, Sick Kids

This talk will address how epilepsy can impact children’s behaviour and academic performance and how seizure type/frequency, comorbidities, and medication side effects impact school success.

Navigating the School System

Miriam Richies, BASC, MA, OCT; Special Education Consultant, TDSB

Many parents still struggle with how to get the support they need at school in order for their children to be successful in the school system. This talk will share ways that parents can better understand the school system and how to access the services and support their child needs.


Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)

Cameron Finlay, Education Manager, LivaNova

VNS is an option for the treatment of difficult-to-treat epilepsy.  This presentation will attempt to address the more frequent questions around VNS including surgical approach, patient sensations, expectations and treatment follow-up.

Ketogenic Diet for Adults with Epilepsy

Dr Eduard Bercovici, MSc, MD, FRCP(C), CCNS Diplomate (EEG)​​; Neurologist, Epileptologist, Ketogenic Diet Specialist

This talk will address the Ketogenic diet and specifically how it is being utilized to treat adults with epilepsy. Dr Bercovici will share insights from the new diet therapy clinic at Toronto Western Hospital; the only one of its kind in Canada.


Ontario’s Epilepsy Guidelines: Knowing Your Treatment Options

Dr. Amaya Singh, PhD, EpLink Knowledge Translation Lead, University of Toronto

In this talk, Dr. Singh will discuss how knowing the recommended diagnosis, treatment and referral pathway can help people with epilepsy find the right treatment at the right time. She will also highlight current recommendations related to the management of epilepsy.


 Cannabis Extract for Adults with Uncontrolled Seizures 

Dr. McIntyre Burnham, PhD, Professor, University of Toronto; Neuropharmacologist; Co-Director of EpLink – The Epilepsy Research Program of the Ontario Brain Institute

In this talk, Dr. Burnham will provide a status update on EpLink’s clinical trial to study the effects of cannabidiol (a cannabis extract) on seizure control for adults with drug-resistant epilepsy.

Oral Cannabis Treatment in Kids with Severe Epilepsy

Maria Zak BScN, MN., Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Neurology at SickKids, with a clinical focus on paediatric epilepsy, children with drug-resistant epilepsy, and the ketogenic diet.

System Navigation and Advocacy Update

Alex Repetski, Parent/Advocate/CEA Advisor, Medical Cannabis Task Force

Alexander will be speaking about being a caregiver and developing dosing protocols, the evolution of the medical cannabis industry over the past four years and how he has seen research flourish and stigma diminish, as well as access to medical cannabis and costs associated.


Epilepsy Toronto will hold its Annual General Meeting on Saturday, May 26th, 2018, at 8:30am at the YMCA,  20 Grosvenor Street Toronto.

Call For Nominees For Election to the Board of Directors of Epilepsy Toronto

According to paragraph 11.3 of the general by-laws of Epilepsy Toronto, any member may submit the name of a prospective Director of the corporation by meeting the following requirements:

-The submission must be in writing and addressed to the Nominating Committee at the head office at 468 Queen Street East Suite 210 Toronto ON M5A 1T7 or faxed to (416) 964-2492;

-The submission must be accompanied by the signed consent of the person proposed;

-The submission must be seconded by another member of the corporation;

If the above requirements are met, the proposed candidate will be considered for the slate by the Nominating Committee of the Board.

Pursuant to the by-laws of Epilepsy Toronto, members unable to attend the Annual General Meeting are invited to vote by proxy, by completing the linked form.


The 2017 Conference “Medical: Epilepsy Self-Management and Advocacy” included:

Keynote:  Self- Management  in Epilepsy with Patricia Osborne Shafer RN, MN is the Senior Director of Health Information & Resources and Associate Editor/Community Manager for epilepsy.com.

Epilepsy Transition, Advocacy and Independence with Steven Lynette, an advocate, counselor, facilitator, life skills coach, educator, promoter, and survivor.

Transition from pediatric to adult Services with Megan Henze, an occupational therapist and a member of the Good 2 Go team in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children.

Self-Advocacy with Dr. Suzanne Nurse, a patient advocate with experience working with community, provincial and national health charities.

SUDEP : The loop of communication with Dr. Rajesh RamachandranNair, an Associate Professor in the department of Pediatrics at McMaster University, a staff neurologist at the McMaster Children’s Hospital and the medical director of the comprehensive pediatric epilepsy program.

The Joy and Power of Mindfulness with Eva Tickton, MEd, who taught law for 30 years at Seneca College, and since 2012 has been teaching meditation and mindfulness.

2016 Conference highlights included:

Understanding the Brain

Mary Pat McAndrews, PhD Neuropsychologist , Toronto Western Hospital Collaborative Program in Neuroscience

Medications for Epilepsy: What I Need to Know

Safiya Ladak, Clinical Pharmacist, Toronto Western Hospital

Technological Advancements in Epilepsy Management Panel Discussion

Smart watches, Seizure Detection Gear, Health Management Apps and more

Managing Epilepsy using Complementary Approaches & a Healthy Lifestyle

Dr. Lisa Watson, ND


The 2015 Conference, Living Well With Epilepsy, included:

Actor/Comedian Rick Green on living well with an invisible disability and using his ADD as an ally.

Dietary Therapies for Epilepsy Learn more about two medically supervised diet therapies and how they have successfully helped many people with seizure reduction and control.conf banner 2

Epilepsy Research…What’s New? Dr. Mac Burnham on the fascinating epilepsy research happening at the Ontario Brain Institute.

Sleeping your way to better seizure control. Examining the link between sleep and epilepsy as well as sharing practical strategies on how to improve sleep and achieve better wellness.

Visit our Documents Archive for previous conference presentations.