Epilepsy - Overview: Approach to Care
Comprehensive Epilepsy Program
The UF Health comprehensive epilepsy program features a team of health care providers committed to delivering the best possible care to all people with epilepsy. The team is composed of professionals from different backgrounds all with special expertise in various aspects of diagnosing and treating epilepsy.
The team currently includes the following individuals:
- Neurology - Stephan Eisenschenk, Jean Cibula, Maria Hella
- Pediatric Neurology - Paul Carney, Zhao Liu, Edgard Andrade
- Neuropsychology - Russell Bauer, Michelle Keiski, Shelley C. Heaton
- Neuropathology - Tony Yachnis
- Radiology - Ron Quisling
- Neurosurgery - Steven Roper, David Pincus
Advanced Medical Facilities
In addition to state of the art medical, surgical and imaging facilities, UF Health Shands Hospital houses an epilepsy monitoring unit that includes four adult and two pediatric rooms specifically designed for long-term monitoring of seizures in patients with epilepsy and a dedicated neuro-intensive care unit that is also equipped for long-term monitoring. Since 1992, neurosurgeons at UF Health have performed more than 1,500 epilepsy surgeries. These surgeries include implantation of intracranial electrodes, removal of brain areas where seizures originate (such as anterior temporal lobectomy), interruption of neural pathways by which seizures originate and spread (multiple subpial transection and corpus callosotomy) and implantation of vagus nerve stimulators. UF Health was one of the original investigational sites for VNS (vagus nerve stimulation), which was FDA approved in 1997. In addition, the UF Health is one of only a few institutions in the country that has used LINAC radiosurgery specifically for the treatment of focal seizures.
Every year, UF Health epilepsy experts complete approximately 7,500 adult and pediatric patient appointments for seizure-related conditions. In the last two decades, more than 550 people with intractable epilepsy have participated in our experimental drug and device studies. There is an active clinical trial taking place now for patients with the ketogenic diet. Although results vary depending upon the needed procedure and the underlying cause of the epilepsy, we have maintained an excellent success rate and low complication rate for the services that we provide.
The Latest Research
The Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida allows UF Health epilepsy experts to benefit from the intellectual and physical resources available there. Current research projects include studies into the development of epilepsy (epileptogenesis), malformations of cortical development (including cortical dysplasia), neuroprosthetics (control of abnormal brain activity through electrical stimulation and computers), new imaging techniques in epilepsy, and outcomes from epilepsy surgery. In that time, the UF Health comprehensive epilepsy program physicians have published several hundred papers and chapters and received numerous research grants.
To learn more about the UF Health comprehensive epilepsy program team, visit the UF department of neurology website.