In Memoriam: Dr. Warren Blume

The Western community is mourning the passing of Dr. Warren Blume, former Professor Emeritus in Neuroscience, and founder of the epilepsy unit at London Health Sciences Centre’s University Hospital.

Dr. Blume passed away on September 13, 2021, at the age of 87. He was a dedicated educator, neurologist, and an international leader in of electroencephalography – known as the EEG test. Dr. Blume was instrumental in advancing treatment and management of epilepsy thanks to his publications, and his dedication to improving care for his patients with the condition.

After earning his MD at the University of McGill in 1962, he pursued residencies at Montreal Children's Hospital, University of Wisconsin, Mayo Clinic, and Hôpital Port Royal, Université de Paris, France. In 1972, he joined the Department of Neuroscience at University Hospital.

Five years later, along with Dr. John Girvin, he founded one of Canada’s largest epilepsy units, and the first of its kind in Ontario. Drs. Blume and Girvin recognized that the complexities of treating epilepsy required effective collaboration between the divisions of Neurology and Neurosurgery. The term “medically-intractable epilepsy” had not yet been coined, but Drs. Blume and Girvin recognized its existence and the need for a team approach to treatment.

Dr. Blume joined the faculty at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry in 1999 as a Professor Emeritus, training dozens of neurologists and epileptologists until his retirement in 2007. His book, Blume’s Atlas of Pediatric and Adult Electroencephalography, remains a critical resource for neurology trainees and clinicians.

In 2012, Dr. Blume was made a member of the Order of Canada for his extraordinary contributions to medicine. He received several awards, including the Ambassador for Epilepsy Award from the International League Against Epilepsy (2009); the Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012); and the American Epilepsy Society’s J. Kiffin Penry Excellence in Epilepsy Care Award (2012).

He is survived by his wife Lydia, his children Christine (Gary), Sonia (Stephen) and Valerie (Eric) and grandchildren Gavin, Nigel, Jeremy and Natalie.