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, Elakkat Gireesh, Yue Wang
- Pediatric Neurology - Zhao Liu
- Neuropsychology - Russell Bauer, Shelley C. Heaton
- Neuropathology - Tony Yachnis
- Radiology - Jeff Bennett
- 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 four 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.
For more than four decades, people have looked to UF Health for complex epilepsy care. The UF Health Comprehensive Epilepsy Program was pioneered by Richard Schmidt, MD, the first chief of neurology at UF, and BJ Wilder, MD, a former UF department of neurology faculty member. Both men initiated a number of electrophysiological and drug studies here at UF, which were instrumental in the development of modern-day medicine for the treatment of epilepsy. And, since the 1970s, UF Health neurosurgeons have been performing operations for the simple and most complex epilepsy cases. In the last 25 years, UF Health neurosurgeons 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, which was FDA approved in 1997. In addition, UF Health is one of only a few institutions in the country that uses LINAC radiosurgery specifically for the treatment of focal seizures and laser interstitial thermal therapy for brain lesions.
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.
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.
Currently, there are several ongoing clinical trials/research studies at UF enrolling new patients with epilepsy and related disorders. To learn more, visit our research studies page.
- To schedule an appointment, please call 352.265.8408 today.
- To learn more about the UF Health Comprehensive Epilepsy Program Team, visit the UF department of neurology website.