The Power of Purple Webinar Series for Epilepsy is a series of free educational webinars about important topics related to epilepsy. These webinars will be hosted on Zoom and feature neurologists, industry experts, and people living with epilepsy who will be sharing their lived experiences.
About the Speakers:
Dr. Mary Pat McAndrews is the Co-Director of EpLink, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto and the director of the Neuropsychology Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital. She is also a Senior Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute. Dr. McAndrews received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and completed her post-doctoral work at the Montreal Neurological Institute. Her current research focuses on how the brain organizes and retrieves memories, and how these processes are disrupted when the brain is damaged from repeated seizures. Seizures often begin in the temporal lobe, an area of the brain that plays an important role in memory. As a result, many people with epilepsy experience memory problems, and Dr. McAndrews is investigating how specific types of memory may be affected. She and her team are currently running a research study that combines functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) – a type of brain scan that shows active brain areas – with electrical recordings of brain activity. These tests can be done when individuals are doing specific language and memory tasks, providing key insights into how memory and language areas are organized within the brain.
Wendy Morris immigrated to Canada at the age of 20 from St. Vincent and The Grenadines. She is a two-time cancer survivor and was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was pregnant with her son. A community volunteer, mother of two and grandmother of one, Wendy runs her own business, Quarry Gal Seasonings as a way to share her Caribbean roots, her love of food and her vision of good health for all.
Wendy recalls that a breakthrough for her as a person who lives with epilepsy came when her neurologist referred her to Epilepsy Toronto. Reluctant at first, she waited 6 months to finally reach out to the organization knowing that it meant fully acknowledging that she had epilepsy and that her life had changed.
Along with the support of the staff, volunteers and others in the Epilepsy Toronto community, Wendy remains positive doing things she loves like baking, community work, yoga, Zumba and line dancing.
Today, many people ask Wendy what brought her smile back. She answers with an even broader smile. It’s about acceptance!
About the Moderator
W. McIntyre Burnham received his B.A. in Experimental Psychology from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology from McGill University. Following post-doctoral studies in electrophysiology with Pierre Gloor at the Montreal Neurological Institute, he joined the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Toronto, where he is currently a Professor Emeritus. His research career has centered on epilepsy and anticonvulsant drugs. He was the first recipient of the Bahen Chair of Epilepsy Research, and is currently the Director of the University of Toronto Epilepsy Research Program. He is also a Co-Director of EpLink, and a Past President of Epilepsy Ontario and of Epilepsy Canada.