Thursday, May 13, 2010

Living with Stroke and Epilepsy "Through Tears and Triumphs"

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- The morning after giving birth to a baby boy in 1992, Susan Eik Filstead suffered a stroke that lead to four brain surgeries and a long struggle with epilepsy.

On May 14, Filstead will give a special talk at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine titled "Through Tears and Triumphs -- Living with the Consequences of Stroke and Epilepsy."

Dr. José Biller, who has treated Filstead for nearly 18 years, said, "She has had a remarkable saga, and is one of my heroes." Biller is chairman of the Department of Neurology at Stritch.

Stroke is the most common identified cause of epilepsy in adults older than 35. Most strokes are caused by blood clots. The overall incidence of early seizures after such strokes is 2.4 percent to 3.1 percent. Filstead's stroke was caused by bleeding in the brain. The incidence of early seizures after such hemorrhagic strokes is 4.3 percent to 8.5 percent.

"My seizures continue, as does my quest for a seizure-free life," Filstead said.

Filstead's talk is one of two special Grand Rounds presentations the Department of Neurology is sponsoring during May, National Stroke Awareness Month. On May 28, Dr. Steven Lomazow will discuss his provocative new book, "FDR's Deadly Secret." Lomazow believes President Franklin D. Roosevelt's fatal stroke in 1945 was triggered by skin cancer that had spread to his brain and was responsible for the frailty, weight loss and confusion during Roosevelt's last year.

Lomazow is an assistant professor of neurology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. His co-author is journalist Eric Fettmann.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.