2017 Conference Scottsdale

PPA Conference USA – Scottsdale, AZ
October 13-15, 2017

5001 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85250, USA TEL: +1-480-949-1414


Notes from Scottsdale…

Scottsdale Arizona, USA was the site of the 2017 Periodic Paralysis Association Conference. There were many first-time attendees, and all were set at ease from the beginning when President Dr. Jacob Levitt emphasized that the conference would be informally informative.


There were about 175 people in attendance, including a panel of nine doctors and an equally intelligent group from Strongbridge Biopharma, which is marketing Keyveyis (dichlorphenamide), the only FDA-approved medication labeled for periodic paralysis.

An open microphone session on Friday jump started the Conference by inviting the attendees to share their personal stories, diagnostic journeys, and treatment successes with periodic paralysis. Over the weekend, the specialists presented content on: mutations of the sodium channels, physiological consequences of having a mutation, historical perspective about the field of channelopathies, observations about some similarities between hypermobility patients and periodic paralysis patients, information on how local pharmacists can be of assistance to those with periodic paralysis, and how stem cell research might benefit periodic paralysis.


One of the many themes that the conference reinforced is that patients are not alone in their disease. Oftentimes, doctors are not aware of how various (and strange) its symptoms can be and therefore can dismiss them as being psychosomatic. Doctors learn to attribute the most common disease to a presenting symptom. So, if a person presents with a fever they might suspect the flu before Ebola virus. But, you are out of luck if you ended up having Ebola virus (in more ways than one!). But, for most of the population, that rule actually works. Hence the saying by doctors that “if you hear hoof beats in Central Park (New York), think of horses and not zebras.” Unfortunately for periodic paralysis patients, we are the “zebras,” the rare entity that doctors often overlook for more common things. The PPA has adopted the zebra as its mascot because people need to look closer to realize it is not a horse. Another critically important benefit of the conference was that it gave the participants a chance to talk and share information with one another. In fact, at the end of the conference, many signed up to an email list whereby they could continue communicating with their new-found friends.


There were several lighter moments, especially when the Association Board hosted a silent auction. While wearing zebra ears and tail, President Dr. Jake Levitt played a hilarious auctioneer while inciting bids on several pieces of very attractive artwork, jewelry, as well as many zebra-related novelties. The auction was an enjoyable break in what turned out to be a hugely successful conference! We hope to see you in Dublin next August for our first conference abroad.



Watch the photos

Watch the Lectures

Watch the full webstream


The presentations

Dr Weber :: Muscular Channelopathies
Dr. Ptacek :: Progress on Periodic Paralysis: A Quarter of a Century Later
Dr Bell :: Periodic Paralysis: Other Symptoms
Dr Shifman :: Getting The Most Out of Your Pharmacy


The lectures

Dr Weber :: Lecture
Dr Cannon :: Lecture
Dr Ptacek :: Lecture
Dr Bell :: Lecture
Dr Shifman :: Lecture
Dr Malan :: Lecture




The agenda

Agenda PPA Conference 2017

Friday Oct. 13

12:00 pm Board Meeting

1:00 pm Registration Opens at Hotel

2:00 pm Welcome to the PPA Conference and Introduction of Board and other people working with board – any recognition of donors?

2:30 pm Introduction of Mickey Segal and explanation of him being mentor for Open Mic

3:00 pm BREAK

3:15 pm Continuation of Open Mic

4:30 pm Close of Conference for Day – guests may stay and chat

6:00 pm Doctor/Board Dinner – Location to be announced


Saturday Oct. 14

8:15 am Registration Opens

8:45 am Welcome to Conference Day 2 (for people who did not attend previous day – quick introductions)

9:00 am   Dr. Weber Keynote Presentation  person
Dr Weber :: Presentation
Dr Weber :: Lecture

9:45 am Questions for Dr. Weber

10:00 am BREAK

10:15 am Dr. Cannon person
Dr Cannon :: Presentation
Dr Cannon :: Lecture

11:00 am Questions for Dr. Cannon

11:30am   Break for Room set-up for lunch

12:15pm Buffet Lunch and  Silent/Live Auction

1:45 pm Dr. Ptacek  person
Dr. Ptacek :: Presentation
Dr Ptacek :: Lecture

2:15 pm Questions for Dr. Ptacek

2:45 pm   BREAK

3 pm Dr. Bell
Dr Bell :: Presentation
Dr Bell :: Lecture

3:30 pm   Questions Dr. Bell

4:00 pm Dr Samantha Shifman
Dr Shifman :: Presentation
Dr Shifman :: Lecture

4:30 pm Questions Dr Shifman

5:00 pm   Conference Ends for Day


Shelley Meet for Audit with chosen designees


Sunday Oct. 15

9:00 am  Dr Malan

9:45 am Questions for Dr Malan
Dr Malan :: Lecture

10:00 am BREAK

10:15am Doctors on the Round Table

11:30 am Closing Remarks

12:00 pm Conference Ends

1:00 pm Doors are Locked


Speakers for PPA Conference 2017 Scottsdale, AZ

Frank_Weber_042012Dr. Frank Weber – Germany


Steve_CannonDr. Steve Cannon – California, USA


Dr. Louis Ptacek – Utah, USA


MichaelSegal-Dr. Michael Segal – Massachusetts, USA


dr-malanDr. Todd Malan – Scottsdale, AZ


atbellDr. Todd Bell – Texas, USA


samshifmanDr. Samantha Shifman – Ohio USA.



Location of the Conference