Cleveland Clinic will name the epilepsy center “The Charles Shor Epilepsy Center” in recognition of the $10 million gift earmarked for the new building. The additional $5.5 million donation will support an innovative epilepsy study exploring the link between stress and seizures.
Shor, a Cincinnati businessman and philanthropist, was diagnosed with epilepsy in his 20s and had his first seizure at age 25. He successfully grew his family company, Duro Bag Manufacturing, into the world’s largest paper bag producer.
“Charlie’s generous donation to the Neurological Institute will help us transform our approach to better understand neurological diseases,” said Andre Machado, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Neurological Institute and the Charles and Christine Carroll Family Endowed Chair in Functional Neurosurgery. “His support of this state-of-the-future facility will enable us to centralize and advance the care we provide in an environment specifically designed around the unique needs of people with neurological conditions.”
The new Neurological Institute building will centralize outpatient neurological care on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus. The proposed building will bring together services currently delivered in multiple buildings on main campus to provide integrated sub-specialty care for patients with neurological conditions. The design process for the new building is currently underway and construction is expected to begin next year.
To be supported in large part by philanthropy, the facility will feature the most advanced technology and house care teams in various neuroscience subspecialties to enable a new level of clinical collaboration and individualized treatment planning. A comprehensive array of services will include digitized patient evaluations, imaging, neuro-simulation training, infusion therapy, neuro-diagnostics, and brain mapping suites as well as research space dedicated to investigating new therapies. It will serve as the nucleus for neurology-related distance healthcare and digitized data processing and management, offering access to Cleveland Clinic care to patients who live far away.
“Cleveland Clinic’s vision for the future of neurological care is inspiring and gives me hope,” said Shor. “Neurological conditions, and specifically epilepsy, affect so many people in the prime of their lives. By directing these resources to the extraordinary team of doctors and researchers at Cleveland Clinic, I believe I can help to make a significant difference for people living with these diseases.”
The future study supported by Shor will explore using non-pharmacologic interventions such as stress relief to control seizures. The research team, will be led by Imad Najm, M.D., Director of The Charles Shor Epilepsy Center and Vice-Chair of Strategy and Development, Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute. The study, which is going through Cleveland Clinic’s research review process, aims to determine if stress relief can potentially reduce seizures and ultimately improve and prevent memory decline in patients with epilepsy.
Over 3 million people in the U.S. are living with epilepsy. Despite decades of research, there remain barriers to progress. Today’s treatments are effective in controlling seizures in only 46% of adults and a disproportionate number of patients with epilepsy suffer from faster decline in their memory function as compared to age matched controls. Stress has been identified as a major risk factor for seizure recurrence and decreased memory function in epilepsy patients.
“Charlie’s gifts to the Neurological Institute are transformational in advancing our efforts to find ways to better control seizures and transform the lives of patients with epilepsy,” said Dr. Najm, who is also The Joseph H. and Ellen B. Thomas Endowed Chair in Epilepsy. “The goal for our new Neurological Institute building is to have the infrastructure in place to not only stop diseases from progressing, but also prevent the neurological disorders from happening. The building is going to allow for a digital infrastructure where the medical teams and caregivers will have the ability to interact with the patient the second they step in the door.”