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Cook Children's Neurosciences.
Neurosciences - We do it all for kids.

Comprehensive
Epilepsy Program

Epilepsy ProgramCook Children's Comprehensive Epilepsy Program is one of the leading and most advanced pediatric epilepsy programs in the country.

The program coordinates the skills of highly specialized epileptologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, nurse specialists, EEG technologists, nutritionists, nurse educators, social workers and Child Life specialists, to create a team who are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of children with epilepsy.

Our program sees more than 13,000 infants and children with seizures each year. We perform more than 6,000 EEGs and more than 100 epilepsy surgeries annually, making the Cook Children's Comprehensive Epilepsy Program one of the busiest pediatric epilepsy centers in the nation. And with the arrival of our MEG, the newest generation of advanced imaging technology is now available to even our youngest generation of patients.

Using both medical and surgical treatments, the program offers some of the highest level of services to patients with epilepsy.

The National Association of Epilepsy Centers recognizes Cook Children's Comprehensive Epilepsy Program as a Level 4 Pediatric Epilepsy Center. Level 4 epilepsy centers have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.

Medical treatment options

Surgical treatment options

What we do in the EMU

Our state-of-the-art Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) is an important component of the comprehensive evaluation and integrated care of patients with epilepsy and recurrent unprovoked spells. More than 800 children have been admitted to our 10-bed unit, designed with children in mind and capable of performing wireless electroencephalograms (EEGs) that allow the children to continue their normal activities while in the unit.

The EMU is part of the medical center's Neurophysiology program, and performs:

Our Epilepsy Program also has sophisticated neuroimaging capabilities including:

Advanced technologies mean innovative care

Cook Children's offers some of the most advanced, kid-friendly care in the nation. With leading-edge imaging and diagnostic capabilities, our specialists are able to better treat patients and help them get back to doing what they do best: being kids.

Neurodiagnostics

The Neurodiagnostic Center at Cook Children's offers the most innovative and advanced technologies to diagnose, evaluate, and treat the conditions that affect a child's brain and development. At Cook Children's, you'll have access to leading-edge resources, brilliant doctors, and a team of highly skilled medical professionals who specialize in pediatric neurology. All with one purpose in mind: to help your child have the best quality of care possible. Learn more.

Neurodiagnostics 
 

Our care team

The physicians and surgeons who provide this care are also involved in clinical research to discover new treatments for pediatric epilepsy. Cook Children's neuroscience investigators are enrolling patients into multiple clinical trials of medications and medical devices, and the list continues to grow. Our neuroscientists' clinical research has helped develop treatments for many children with epilepsy who had no hope of living seizure-free.

  • Angel Hernandez, M.D., Medical Director, Epilepsy Program and EMU
  • David Donahue, M.D., Neurosurgery Director, Epilepsy Program
  • Saleem Malik, M.D., Associate Medical Director, Epilepsy Program and EMU
  • M. Scott Perry, M.D., Medical Director, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Clinic
  • John Honeycutt, M.D., Pediatric Neurosurgeon
  • Richard Roberts, M.D., Pediatric Neurosurgeon
  • Ronald Gerstle, M.D., Neuroradiology
  • Marsha Gabriel, Ph.D., Pediatric Neuropsychology
  • Beth Colaluca, Ph.D., Pediatric Neuropsychology
  • Joy Zajac, CPNP, Epilepsy Service Nurse Practitioner
  • Esther Smith, CPNP-AC, Epilepsy Service Nurse Practitioner
  • Jerico Pimentel, CPNP, Epilepsy Service Nurse Practitioner
  • Lindsey Jensen, CPNP-AC, Epielpsy Service Nurse Practitioner
  • Ricky Ross, REEGT, RPSGT, Neurodiagnostic laboratory Manager
  • Meri Cozart, Director Neurosciences
  • Melody Davis, RN, Educator
  • Jessica Holy, RD, LD, Ketogenic Dietition

Our team approach

The epilepsy team meets weekly to review individual epilepsy cases. At these meetings, epileptologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists and neuroradiologists review patient histories and physicals, neuroimaging, and neurodiagnostic tests. The team considers underlying diagnoses and the effectiveness and side effects of current management as well as treatment options and controversies before making a decision on the best epilepsy care. Careful consideration is given to neuropsychological, speech and psychiatric evaluations. Ultimately, the team makes their decision, and the attending physician, the patient, and his or her family are consulted in order to make the final medical or surgical treatment decision.

Designations

Additional resources

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