UNION CITY, Calif., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOR) today announced that it is partnering with the Child Neurology Foundation (CNF) in support of the 2nd annual Infantile Spasms (IS) Awareness Week, which will take place October 11-17, 2010, in conjunction with the Child Neurology Society (CNS) Annual Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island.
Over the past year, CNF has developed a website, www.infantilespasmsinfo.org, that provides information on IS from leading child neurologists and shares stories from families coping with this devastating condition. CNF has also developed a new educational IS brochure and DVD that it makes available to physicians and parents alike.
"Questcor is passionate about working with the Child Neurology Foundation to continue expanding this very important educational effort," said Steve Cartt, Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer for Questcor. "The goal of IS Awareness Week is to provide pediatricians, child neurologists, parents, and caregivers with objective educational tools which will help increase awareness and understanding of infantile spasms."
As part of this year's IS Awareness Week, the Child Neurology Foundation announced that it is launching a new program called IS Heroes, which will include the IS Hero Award.
John Stone, executive director of the Child Neurology Foundation, commented, "IS Awareness Week has begun to help increase awareness and understanding of infantile spasms, a disorder where time is of the essence when it comes to diagnosis and treatment. The IS Hero Award will recognize a deserving child neurologist and medical institution, nominated by a parent, for making a positive difference in the life of a child with IS." Mr. Stone continued, "This is another way we can draw attention to IS and recognize the important contributions made by child neurologists in the care of these infants."
This inaugural year's recipients, being honored for their leadership in promoting awareness and research for infantile spasms, are Dr. Jong Rho and the Pediatric Neurology Division of the Barrow Neurologic Institute of Phoenix. Dr. Rho and the team at Barrow were nominated by the Allen family. Ryan and Tiffany Allen's son, Logan, was treated at Barrow. Logan's seizures were quickly controlled and Logan, now five years old, is developmentally on track with his peers.
"As parent-advocates, we feel it's so important to recognize the individuals and organizations that go above and beyond expectations," Ryan Allen said. "Dr. Jong Rho and Barrow are just that team. It is without question that Dr. Rho is the main reason why Logan is where he is today. Dr. Rho spent countless hours educating us, he gave us same-day responses to our urgent questions, was committed to us even after hours, and was willing to ensure Logan received the best care possible. We are especially thankful for Dr. Rho's calm, kind, and straightforward bedside manner, his knowledge of infantile spasms, his putting up with our numerous questions, and his continued care and concern for our son and our family."
Mr. Allen further added, "With every great clinician is an organization that supports them. Barrow Neurological Institute is that place. Having had many opportunities to utilize their services and staff we cannot thank them enough for their passion and understanding during our difficult time. We are forever grateful to Barrow for working with all of Logan's challenges and providing a place of comfort and support for our family."
Dr. John Bodensteiner, past president of the Child Neurology Society and Professor of Child Neurology at Barrow, said, in accepting the award on behalf of Barrow and Dr. Rho, "At the Barrow Neurological Institute, our goal is to provide excellent patient care and to find better ways to treat neurological conditions. While we wish every child could have the outcome that Logan Allen had, we know that is sometimes not possible. What is possible is to provide the level of care and commitment from the excellent team of healthcare professionals we have here at Barrow."
Dr. Bodensteiner continued, "And while I gladly accept the IS Hero Award on behalf of our entire team at Barrow, I must commend Logan and his amazing parents, Ryan and Tiffany Allen, who aggressively advocated for their son's diagnosis and eventual treatment."
The 2010 IS Heroes Award Ceremony takes place on Thursday, October 14, at a special luncheon at the CNS Annual Meeting.
Infantile Spasms is a severe, ultra-rare form of epilepsy that affects infants, with onset typically occurring during the first year of life in about 90 percent of cases. IS incidence is estimated at approximately 2,000 new cases in the U.S. per year, which can be classified as an ultra-orphan disease. For comparison, orphan disease designation pertains to diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people. IS patients experience rapid, characteristic muscular contraction or extensions lasting one to two seconds and occurring in clusters ranging from a few spasms to more than 100 spasms per cluster. Often, in the beginning, the attacks are brief, infrequent and not typical, so it is quite common for the diagnosis to be delayed. Frequently, due to the pattern of the attacks and the cry that an infant gives during or after an attack, the attacks are sometimes initially thought to be due to colic or gastric distress.
About the Child Neurology Foundation
Founded in October 2000, the Child Neurology Foundation was created as the outreach and philanthropic arm of the Child Neurology Society. Members of the CNS include more than 1,300 child neurologists from the United States, Canada, as well as more than 30 other countries around the world.
The Foundation's mission is to advocate for children and adolescents with neurologic and developmental disorders; fund neurologic research of young investigators; promote awareness of career opportunities in child neurology; provide public, professional, and patient education programs; and support the activities and mission of the CNS.
For more information on the CNF, please visit www.childneurologyfoundation.org.
About Questcor Pharmaceuticals
Questcor is a biopharmaceutical company whose products help patients with serious, difficult-to-treat medical conditions. Questcor's specific areas of focus are in the fields of neurology and nephrology and the company is currently supporting research efforts in a variety of conditions having significant unmet medical need. For more information, please visit www.questcor.com.
SOURCE Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.