The October conference in Toronto will feature a range of knowledgeable, passionate speakers, including Donna Andrews, Ph.D., and Joel Reiter, M.D., the psychologist and Harvard-trained neurologist who together developed the Andrews-Reiter approach to epilepsy.
Donna Andrews, Ph.D.Neuropsychologist Donna Andrews is the co-director of the Andrews-Reiter Epilepsy Research Program in Santa Rosa, California.She is a pioneer in the use of behavioral therapy to treat epilepsy.Dr. Andrews is the author of Taking Control of Your Epilepsy, a comprehensive guide for patients seeking to halt their seizures.
Dr. Andrews and Harvard-trained neurologist Joel Reiter, co-director of the A-R Research Program, were the first doctors in the country to make several critically important medical discoveries about epilepsy.
With further research, Andrews and Reiter showed that seizure triggers do not have to be physical pressures.
Dr. Andrews has shown that if a patient identifies his auras and responds with focused relaxation instead of panic, he can stop his brain's electrical misfirings before those misfirings become full-blown seizures.
To establish long-term health, at their clinic in California, Andrews and Reiter start patients on the path to resolving the emotional pressures that trigger their seizures.
In 30 years of treating epileptics with this approach, Dr. Andrews has helped thousands of patients halt their seizures, many of whom were considered refractory, or untreatable, cases.
Her work has drawn global recognition and been called "an important step forward in the treatment of epilepsy."
Dr. Andrews' interest in epilepsy came from personal experience.
As a child, she suffered from debilitating seizures.
Doctors told her there was nothing she could do beyond taking medication.
Refusing to accept that prognosis, Andrews began researching the medical condition and investigating its function in her body, explorations that led to the Andrews-Reiter methods.
Today Dr. Andrews has been seizure-free for over 40 years and has been off all medication for several decades.
She continues to treat patients, as well as lecture about the A-R approach at medical facilities across the U.S., Europe and Canada.
Soon Dr. Reiter connected with Dr. Andrews, an epileptic herself who had developed techniques to halt her own seizures.
When Park and Novack learned about the Andrews-Reiter behavioral approach to epilepsy, they flew to California to meet with Dr. Donna Andrews.
"Our goal is to discover where the problem is coming from in the brain and then find compensatory measures to treat it," says Donna J. Andrews, PhD, director of the Andrews-Reiter Epilepsy Research Program in Santa Rosa, California.
According to her research, emotional overload triggered 65 percent of the seizures she studied.Andrews therefore uses counseling and relaxation techniques to help her patients recognize early signs of seizures (called auras) and change their behavior to modify the outcome.