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"The information and education I receive through The International SCN8A Alliance meetings gives me the ability to sit at the table when it comes to my son’s care and advocate for him. I am forever grateful!" - an SCN8A Caregiver

Below are webinars, community meetings and resources to help you better understand SCN8A. If you are a caregiver, we welcome you to join us for our many online family Zoom calls. The calendar of events can be found here. If there are topics you’d like the International SCN8A Alliance to cover in upcoming meetings, please reach out to us at

A Practical Guide To Managing Challenging Behaviors in SCN8A and SCN2A

In this session, we explore practical ways families can address challenging behaviors in individuals diagnosed with SCN8A and SCN2A, particularly those compounded by complex medical and intellectual disabilities. We have partnered with our friends at the FamilieSCN2A Foundation to bring you this webinar which aims to delve deeper into behavioral challenges, seeking insights and strategies to better support individuals and their families navigating this journey. In this session, both families and professionals offer their unique perspectives and expertise on this important topic. You’ll hear from families about their experiences with their children, data from the survey families filled out in advance of the session, and practical strategies for understanding and managing challenging behaviors in individuals with SCN2A and SCN8A-related disorders.

Family presenters were: 
Mary Tone – mom to 22 year old Billy who lives with SCN8A
Jennifer Futch – mom to 5 year old Jack who lives with SCN2A
Kris Ray – mom to 17 year old Maddie who lives with SCN2A

The experts joining us for this webinar were – 
From the University of Iowa:
Carly J van der Heide, MD, PhD & Jodi Tate, MD – Department of Psychiatry &
Kelly M. Schieltz, PhD, BCBA-D – Division of Pediatric Psychology

Erica Anderson, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Northwestern University

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International SCN8A Awareness Day Live Event - The State of SCN8A

Every year on International SCN8A Awareness Day, February 9th, we host a live event to celebrate where we’ve been over the previous year and where we’re headed in the year(s) to come. We will have a lineup of doctors, researchers, caregivers, and global leaders joining us to mark this important day and report out on the State of SCN8A.

On this day, we also remember Shay Emma Hammer, the first known person to have lived with and died from SCN8A. February 9th, 2024 would have marked her 28th birthday.

Listen in to mark this day, remember Shay and celebrate how we are a global community, collaborating for a cure.

Inheritance in SCN8A - Updated November 2023

In this updated session on inheritance in SCN8A, we hear from Dr. Hammer – SCN8A dad, geneticist and co-founder of the International SCN8A Alliance – about:

  • inherited and de novo mutations/variants
  • the risk of SCN8A in future pregnancies/family planning
  • how mutations on the SCN8A gene lead to SCN8A disorders
  • moasicism
  • gain-of-function and loss-of-function in SCN8A
  • and many more topics important to an SCN8A parent

SCN8A and Infantile Spasms - June 17, 2023

The International SCN8A Alliance team, including our Chief Scientific Officer and SCN8A dad, Michael Hammer, PhD and SCN8A mom, researcher and Board Member Madeleine Oudin, PhD for a discussion about Infantile Spasms (IS) in SCN8A. We will share some emerging research and learnings from our Registry about IS, talk about what IS are and look like, and share some resources you can use to advocate for the best possible care and treatments for your children who have IS.  Given the sensitive nature of the conversation, we are not publicly sharing the discussion amongst families that followed.

The Science Behind PRAX-562 - June 11, 2023

This is an in-depth discussion between The International SCN8A Alliance team, led by our Chief Scientific Officer Michael Hammer and team members from Praxis Precision Medicines – Steve Petrou (Co-Founder & CSO) and and Brian Pfister (VP Global Medical Affairs). Additionally, we were joined by Christelle Achkar, a Pediatric Neurologist at Boston Children’s who is currently completing a fellowship at Praxis.  

In this session you’ll hear about what makes PRAX-562 different than other sodium channel blockers, how it works and a bit more about the clinical trials currently underway for SCN8A and SCN2A.

Inheritance and Mosaicism in SCN8A - April 1, 2023

During this session, we hear from Dr. Hammer about inheritance & mosaicism in SCN8A & what we are learning about cases of inherited SCN8A. 

Research Update - March 25, 2023

In this update, we discuss some of the genetics behind SCN8A including:

  • A genetics 101
  • De novo versus inherited mutations
  • What the c. and p. mean on genetic reports
  • Different types of genetic mutations (missense, splice, nonsense, frameshift, etc.) 
  • Gain-of-function and loss-of-function 
  • and many more topics important to an SCN8A parent

International SCN8A Awareness Day Live Event - February 9, 2023

An amazing event to mark International SCN8A Awareness Day 2023!

Alliance co-founders Michael Hammer, JayEtta Z. Hecker and Gabrielle Conecker were be joined by many special guests including: Cinzia Scarcelli of SCN8A Italia Gaby de Leeuw of SCN8A Nederland Dr. John Schreiber of Children’s National Hospital Vanesa Perez and Aurora Rojo Iriondo of SCN8A España Dietrich Haubenberger of Neurocrine Biosciences Brian Pfister of Praxis Precision Medicines Madeleine Oudin – SCN8A mom and researcher and Interntaional SCN8A Board Member 

Community Discussion: Emerging Genetic Treatments for SCN8A - Sept 2022

Check out this conversation about emerging genetic treatments for those living with SCN8A with SCN8A parents/scientists Madeleine Oudin and Chris Burge. In this talk, you’ll hear about antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) treatments, CRISPR and gene therapy. Madeleine and Chris also share about their journey with nLorem to develop an ASO treatment for their daughter, Margot.

Marking Ten Years Since the Discovery of SCN8A - March 2022

A discussion with the core team who made the discovery that SCN8A caused epilepsy in humans, their seminal publication ten years (March 2012) and the incredible progress since then. The discussion includes Miriam Meisler, Krishna Veeramah, Michael Hammer, JayEtta Hecker and Gabi Conecker and was recorded in March 2022.

International SCN8A Awareness Day February 9th

A model of SCN8A, explained

JP Johnson, of Xenon Pharmaceuticals, was kind enough to sit down with the team from the International SCN8A Alliance to talk about SCN8A – the gene itself, how it functions under normal circumstances and how new treatments being developed may impact the gene.

A fun and educational way to learn more about SCN8A!

Want to learn more?

If you are a caregiver who is interested in learning more about SCN8A, check out our regular SCN8A Caregiver meetings and join for any that are of interest to you!

Please help SCN8A families to find better treatments.

Every donation helps empower caregivers to better advocate for their SCN8A children. We bring the latest research to families. and keep working to find better care, treatments and quality of life for those with SCN8A.

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