Montreal neurosurgeon to climb "the coldest mountain in the world"

Dr. Alain Bouthillier will ascend Mt. McKinley to raise funds for epilepsy research

MONTREAL, May 12 /CNW/ - Dr. Alain Bouthillier, a Montreal-based neurosurgeon, is set to climb North America's highest summit and the "world's coldest mountain" to raise funds for epilepsy research and increase awareness about the disorder. On May 21, Dr. Bouthillier will begin his ascent of Alaska's Mount McKinley on behalf of the Canadian League Against Epilepsy (CLAE) and the approximately 300,000 Canadians living with this common neurological disorder.

The veteran mountain climber is expected to reach the summit in approximately two weeks, depending on weather conditions, and return to Canada by June 12, 2011.

"Through his ascension of this formidable peak, Dr. Bouthillier is sending a clear message to Canadians that through research, the often daunting challenges faced by those living with epilepsy can be surmounted," said Dr. Sharon Whiting, president of the CLAE. "The epilepsy community admires his courage and commitment, and will be following him closely on his journey."

Driven by his dedication to epilepsy, coupled with his enthusiasm for extreme adventures, this will be Dr. Bouthillier's second mountain ascent with the same philanthropic focus. His goal this year is to raise $100,000 which the CLEA will award to the two most promising epilepsy research projects in Canada.  The public is invited to follow Dr. Bouthillier's blog and support his efforts by donating to CLAE through its web site at

"Thankfully, I'm not alone in this project. My colleagues, family and friends and companies like UCB Canada have already contributed to the cause," said Dr. Bouthillier, neurosurgeon, CHUM. "I believe in the power of medical research and the possibility of discovering new treatments to improve the quality of life for people living with epilepsy. That's what motivates me!"

The Canadian League Against Epilepsy, the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance and the CHUM are some of the groups supporting Dr. Bouthillier in this undertaking for epilepsy research, along with UCB Canada Inc. as the leading corporate sponsor of this ascension.

About epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that affects approximately 300,000 people in Canada and 50 million people worldwide. Despite its prevalence, epilepsy isn't well-understood and people living with the disorder continue to face social stigma and discrimination. Epilepsy is caused by abnormal, excessive electrical discharges of the nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain. Epilepsy is characterized by a tendency to have recurrent seizures and defined by two or more unprovoked seizures. A person that has a seizure may experience an alteration in behaviour, consciousness, movement, perception and/or sensation. Approximately 30 per cent of people living with epilepsy experience uncontrolled seizures, highlighting the need for new treatment options.

About CLAE

The Canadian League Against Epilepsy (CLAE) is an organization of medical and scientific professionals with over 125 members, including neurologists, neurosurgeons, scientific researchers, nurses, neuropsychologists, neuroradiologists, students and other healthcare professionals. Its primary goal is to develop, through research, innovative therapeutic and preventative strategies to avoid the consequences of epilepsy. In collaboration with the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance (CEA), the CLAE works to promote national awareness and educate all Canadians about epilepsy and its consequences. For more information, visit

About Mount McKinley

Mount McKinley, also called Denali which means "the high one" in the local language, is North America's highest summit located in the heart of Alaska. It rises to 20,320 feet, or 6,194 metres above sea level. Known as the coldest mountain in the world, its altitude, extreme climate and geographic location close to the Arctic, makes it one of the most difficult peaks to climb. Of the 1,500 ascent attempts per year, only about half are successful.

SOURCE Canadian League Against Epilepsy

For further information:

or to set up an interview with Dr. Bouthillier prior to his departure for Alaska on May 18, please contact: 

Andréan Gagné
Cohn & Wolfe
514 845-7046

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Canadian League Against Epilepsy

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