Taiwan Epilepsy Society (TES) was established in 1990 by a group of neurologists interested in treating patients with epilepsy. But the history should be traced back to 1980’s when neurologists from Taiwan started attending international epilepsy workshops, symposia and annual meetings of international epilepsy societies. Neurologists and pediatricians who are interested in epilepsy started having regular meetings under the leadership of Drs. Ming-Shung Su, and Marshal (Mo-Song) Hsi. When Dr. Jing- Jane Tsai returned to Taiwan in 1988 after having studied epilepsy for 10 years in Germany, the group started seriously thinking of establishing a national society devoted to the care of epilepsy patients. The first comprehensive epilepsy program was established in 1989 under the leadership of Dr. Ming-Sung Su in Taipei Veteran General Hospital, where patients with epilepsy received both medical and surgical care. They have performed more than 600 cases of surgery, including temporal lobectomy, corpus callosotomy and other surgeries.
Under the initiation of Dr. Jing-Jane Tsai, TES was formed in 1990 and Dr. Ming-Sung Su was elected as the first president of the society. At our first TES meeting, we had the honor of having distinguished guests, Drs Seino and Mukawa from Japan, Wada and Yamamoto from Canada and Dr. Fromm from USA to participate. Since then we have held annual society meetings as well as several international epilepsy meetings. TES joined International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) in 1993, and has officially become a member of ILAE ever since. So far, we have had six distinguished epileptologists served as the president of the society, each served for two years, and the current president, Dr. Chi-Wan Lai, was just elected this year.
After having joined ILAE and IBE, Taiwan has been active in joining international epilepsy activities. Dr. Jing-Jane Tsai has been in the committee for Asian Oceanic Epilepsy Organization (AOEO) as well as Commission on Asian and Oceanean Affairs (CAOA) and was elected the Ambassador for Epilepsy in 2001, and Dr. Marshal (Mo-Song) Hsi has been elected as one of the Vice Presidents of IBE and also Ambassador for Epilepsy in 2003.
Furthermore, Dr. Chi-Wan Lai, the Professor of Neurology and Co-director of Comprehensive Epilepsy Program in University of Kansas returned to Taiwan in 1998, and has received the Social Accomplishment Award from ILAE/IBE in 2003.
So far, the membership of TES consists mainly of neurologists, neurosurgeons and pediatric neurologists, and we are looking for opportunities to recruit different disciplines, such as psychiatrists, nurses, pharmacists, social workers to join TES, in order to provide a comprehensive care for epilepsy patients. (prepared by Dr. Jing-Jane Tsai, translated and edited by Dr. Chi-Wan Lai)