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Dr. Platt

Dr. Simon Platt is one of four neuroscientists from the United States on the International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force. Photo by Paul Efland.

UGA involved in International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force

An international group of veterinary neurology clinicians and neuroscientists have come together to form the International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force and to formally agree on key aspects of diagnosing, treating and researching canine and feline epilepsy—one of the most common diseases encountered in veterinary practice. The 26-member collaboration includes four experts representing institutions in the United States, including Dr. Simon R. Platt, a professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

The independent organization, founded in 2014, includes veterinary practitioners, neuropharmacologists, neuropathologists and clinical neurologists. In 2015, task force produced seven consensus statements, which were published in BMC Veterinary Research (Vol. 11, 2015) and outline a number of recommendations and classifications on epilepsy.

The consensus statements are to help streamline classifications, definitions, therapeutic outcome measures, and, neuroimaging and neuropathology standards used in research studies designed to produce comparable data for understanding and treating the disease.

“For many years, epilepsy in cats and dogs has been a significant issue for the veterinarian but unlike for human epilepsy, we have not had a consensus developed based on multinational, institutional and individual knowledge and experience,” said Dr. Platt. “This Task Force effort represents a crucial step in the right direction toward more effective diagnosis and treatment of pets with seizures and may help to draw important parallels with the human disease, benefitting both of our worlds.”

Dr. Platt, who is board-certified in neurology by both the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the European College of Veterinary Neurology, is a hospital clinician and neurosurgeon whose research interests include epilepsy, ischemic disease of the central nervous system (canine strokes), and brain tumors. He has authored or co-authored more than 190 journal articles and 50 book chapters and is the co-editor of three textbooks: BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Neurology, the Manual of Small Animal Neurological Emergencies, and, Canine and Feline Epilepsy: Diagnosis and Management. Dr. Platt is a past-president of the ACVIM Neurology Specialty group and a founding member of the Southeastern Veterinary Neurology Group.

Other U.S. members on the task force are:

  • Karen Munana, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology), a professor of neurology and neurosurgery at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Her specialty includes diagnosing, treating, and investigating canine epilepsy and inflammatory brain diseases in dogs and cats.  
  • Ned Patterson, PhD, DVM, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine whose research focuses on genetics, seizure disorders, and molecular medicine.
  • Michael Podell, MSc, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology), a private practitioner with the Chicago Veterinary Specialty Group.

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