Designated by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers with its highest distinction level as a level 4 center, the Stanford Comprehensive Epilepsy Program is ranked among the top comprehensive centers in the nation.
Our physician-researchers and scientists are pioneers in making discoveries through studying the causes of epilepsy, its surgical treatment options, non-epileptic psychogenic seizures that mimic epilepsy, and innovative methods to treat intractable epilepsy, such as electrical stimulation. They are currently engaged in groundbreaking studies on the causes of epilepsy, the effect of seizures and medications on human cognition and emotion, and developing new wireless devices and electrodes for epilepsy treatment.
While each member of our Comprehensive Epilepsy Program team is involved in various clinical or basic science research projects, there are four active program laboratories, where a group of investigators conduct systematic research funded by the National Institute of Health.
Research teams at the following laboratories are currently studying:
Temporal lobe epilepsy is common, frequently refractory to treatment, and devastating to those affected. Our long-term goal is to better understand the pathophysiological mechanisms of this disease so that rational and effective therapies can be developed. We use electrophysiological, molecular, and anatomical techniques to evaluate neuronal circuitry in normal and in epileptic brains.
We are interested in the neuronal mechanisms that underlie synchronous oscillatory activity in the thalamus, cortex and the massively interconnected thalamocortical system. Such oscillations are related to cognitive processes, normal sleep activities and certain forms of epilepsy.
Our approach is an analysis of the discrete components that make up thalamic and cortical circuits, and reconstitution of components into both in vitro biological and in silico computational networks. Accordingly, we have been able to identify genes whose products, mainly ion channels, play key roles in the regulation of thalamocortical network responses.
The general theme of our research is the study of the human brain from clinical and system neuroscience perspective using the tools of intracranial electrocorticography (ECoG), electrical brain stimulation (EBS), and functional imaging (fMRI). The main impetus for our research is to understand the anatomical and physiological signatures of behavioral expression and cognitive experience in humans and how these might be broken in patients with epilepsy. Using our sophisticated research tools, our goal is to help patients with uncontrolled epilepsy to gain seizure freedom without cognitive deficits.
Work in the Prince lab has focused on normal and abnormal regulation of excitability in neurons of mammalian cerebral cortex and thalamus and mechanisms underlying development and prophylaxis of epilepsy in animal models. Long-term goals are to understand how cortical injury and other pathological processes induce changes in structure and function of neurons and neuronal networks that lead to hyperexcitability and epileptogenesis. With this information, it will be possible to devise experimental strategies to prevent the occurrence of epilepsy after cortical injury and eventually apply them to individuals with significant brain trauma. We have already provided a proof in principal that prophylaxis of posttraumatic epilepsy is possible, using a rat model.
The Stanford Comprehensive Epilepsy Program offers leading-edge epilepsy brain surgery techniques.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.
For your convenience, you may check in for all same-day appointments at the Stanford Neuroscience Health Center through a centralized, check-in desk near the front lobby. In addition to all outpatient services, you also can access onsite pre-surgery consultations at the center.
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Stanford Health Care provides comprehensive services to refer and track patients, as well as provides the latest information and news for physicians and office staff. For help with all referral needs and questions visit Referring Physicians.
HOW TO REFER
Patients with difficult to treat epilepsy should be referred to a comprehensive epilepsy center for advanced diagnostic and treatment options. To refer a patient, fax a referral form to 650-725-0390.
Patients with intractable epilepsy who have tried at least two different antiepileptic medications, but still suffer from seizures that affect their quality of life.
Patients who have disabling side effects from their seizure medicines.
Pregnant women with epilepsy or women with epilepsy who wish to become pregnant.
Patients with severe co-morbidities of epilepsy.
Patients who are difficult to diagnose or who may have one of the many imitators of epilepsy.
Any patient who might be a candidate for resective surgery or neuro-implantation to treat their epilepsy.
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