We exist to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

New epilepsy play premiered

10 November, 2005

The first live
performance of ‘Brain Storm', a play focusing on epilepsy, was staged
in Sydney during the recent World Congress of Neurology.

‘Brain
Storm' dramatises the effect that uncontrolled seizures can have on the
lives of people with epilepsy. Seen through the eyes of an epilepsy
specialist observing interviews of people with the condition, the
performance aims to show patients' day-to-day challenges and the
difficulties they face in communicating their experiences with health
care professionals. The play sets out to improve patient-doctor
communication and its producers claim this is the first time within the
area of epilepsy that theatre-based creative learning has been used as
an education tool.

Following
the performance, a panel of experts joined patient group
representatives and people with epilepsy to debate the issues raised in
‘Brain Storm'. The discussion focused on the need for accurate and
timely diagnosis of epilepsy, and the importance of individualised
treatment if the ultimate goal of seizure freedom with minimal side
effects is to be achieved.

‘Brain
Storm' was written by the journalist and broadcaster Polly Toynbee in
consultation with a panel of experts including epilepsy specialists and
people with the condition.

Philippe Ryvlin, professor of neurology at the University of Lyon, was consulted in the development of ‘Brain Storm'. He commented:

"The
play issues a call to action for health care professionals and patients
to improve how they communicate in order to build the partnership which
should result in the optimum management of epilepsy."

Dr Michael Hills, of the International Bureau for Epilepsy, said:

"Unfortunately
a gap exists between the concerns of many people with epilepsy and what
seems to be communicated with physicians. The objective of epilepsy
management is to live without the medical and social consequences of
the condition, and this can only be achieved via an open and honest
two-way dialogue between the doctor and the person with epilepsy."