Epilepsy Research

The mission of Cleveland Clinic Epilepsy Center is to support epilepsy patient care with extensive clinical and laboratory research.

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In the Epilepsy Center, research is fundamental and supported with technology and experience necessary to map the brain’s electrical activity, localize the seizure source and, if appropriate, remove the source for patients with adult epilepsy.

The Epilepsy Center’s staff is involved in research programs investigating the causes of epilepsy including:

  • Molecular, genetic and cellular mechanisms of epilepsy
  • Novel imaging techniques for the identification and localization of various types of epilepsies
  • Development of new treatment techniques for adult epilepsy

Dedicated research efforts target specific areas such as women’s health and specific issues directly related to adult epilepsy in women.

The epilepsy research program has been continuously funded from national public and private institutions, including the National Institutes of Health and the Epilepsy Foundation of America, American Academy of Neurology, and the American Epilepsy Society since 1995.

Innovations That Have Made a Difference for Epilepsy Patients

Innovations pioneered by Cleveland Clinic physicians include:

  • Instrumental epilepsy research that has helped neurosurgeons distinguish normal brain tissue from tissue that causes seizures. Because the difference is not apparent to the eye, they developed a brain mapping technique that allows them to identify and remove the desired tissue, thereby increasing the likelihood of eliminating seizures for adult epilepsy patients without damaging vital functions.
  • Pioneering of a microsurgical technique used in anterior temporal lobe surgery that protects the lobe and adjacent tissue.
  • Development method of sorting and analyzing electroencephalogram (EEG) imaging data on a computer to make pertinent information more readily accessible.

Current Epilepsy Research

Today, the Epilepsy Center continues to be involved in basic and clinical research designed to better understand the cause of adult epilepsy and find more effective ways of treating it. These involve methods of:

  • Improving presurgical monitoring
  • Modifying surgical techniques
  • Ensuring the protection of vital brain functions
  • Testing the effectiveness of new medication combinations

In addition, we are working with advanced techniques used at Cleveland Clinic for other brain disorders, including Gamma Knife surgery and deep brain stimulation, to see how they may be applied to adult epilepsy patients with equal success.

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