During the 6th European Congress on Epileptology (which will took place in Vienna from 30th May – 3rd June 2004), the ILAE Commission on European Affairs presented the “European Epileptology Award 2004”. The prize was awarded to an individual whose achievements are considered to have contributed significantly to the development of epileptology in Europe.
The winner of this award was Dr Charlotte Dravet. Dr Dravet graduated from Marseilles University as a psychiatrist specialising in infantile neuropsychiatry. In her medical doctoral thesis, under Henri Gastaut’s direction, in 1965, she studied the epilepsy which would be later named the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. She has always worked in the Centre Saint-Paul, in Marseilles, with Joseph Roger, Michelle Bureau and Pierre Genton.
Her interests were focused towards the delineation of epileptic syndromes in childhood epilepsy, the psychological consequences of epilepsy, the progressive myoclonus epilepsies and their genetics, the congenital malformations of the offspring of epileptic women and related studies. Her main contribution was in myoclonia epilepsy with emphasis on benign and severe myoclonic epilepsies in infancy. The later, Dravet syndrome, is now recognised as one of the most malignant syndromes at this age and is widely studied by other authors and clinicians as well as geneticists.
Charlotte Dravet has been President of the French League Against Epilepsy and a member of the Commission on Classification of Epilepsies of the ILAE. She is also an Ambassador for epilepsy. She has participated in numerous congresses, lectures and is the author of a number of published works. Now retired, she continues to work in France and Italy to improve the care of people with epilepsy.
The Commission on European Affairs has awarded a prize of EUR 10.000 together with a plaque to the winner.
Any individual who has made a substantial lifetime contribution in any aspect of epileptology is eligible for nomination. The major part of the candidate’s work should have taken place in Europe.