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The Epilepsy Service at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) offers evaluation and management using the most advanced techniques available to children and adults with epilepsy and related disorders in a setting focused on the advancement of knowledge about epilepsy and related disorders. The MGH Epilepsy Service is an academic teaching service that is committed to clinical and basic research, medical education, and clinical service. Patients seen in this environment benefit from the input of multiple physicians and investigators that results directly from our academic medical approach to evaluation and management.
Our comprehensive range of clinical services includes:
Filling an Important Need
Andrew J. Cole, MD, founded the Epilepsy Service in 1992 and continues to serve as our director. He has helped assemble a world-class team of subspecialists, including dedicated neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons who specialize in epilepsy surgery. Together, we have earned a reputation for communicating and collaborating closely with neurologists in Greater Boston, around the country and around the world.
Among our key milestones:
As a National Association of Epilepsy Centers-certified Level 4 Epilepsy Center, we "provide the more complex forms of intensive neurodiagnostics monitoring, as well as more extensive medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial treatment." We also offer a complete evaluation for epilepsy surgery, including intracranial monitoring and complex surgical procedures that many other institutions do not perform.
The Epilepsy Service maintains an active research program, and some patients will have the opportunity to enroll in research or clinical trials (Clinical Trials at Partners). For information about ongoing studies and the ability to participate, please call 617-726-5904.
The Epilepsy Service at Massachusetts General Hospital is committed to improving the lives of people with epilepsy and related disorders through clinical services, clinical and basic research, and medical education and training.
We offer comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for patients, from first seizure events to surgical evaluation of seizure disorders. In addition, we use detailed neurophysiological, neuroradiological and neuropsychological testing as required to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment.
What to Expect
If you are interested in a clinical consultation with us, we strongly recommend that you first receive a referral from your primary care physician or neurologist. A referral letter outlining your issues allows us to make your first visit as productive as possible. A referral to our center would be appropriate if your seizures have not been brought under control after three months of care by a primary care provider or after 12 months of care by a general neurologist.
Because epilepsy is a chronic condition, the most significant benefit we offer patients comes from evaluating your symptoms and proposing changes to your treatment program. Once we have taken these steps, we typically partner with your primary care physician or neurologist to manage your continuing care. If you should encounter any setbacks, we work with the referring physician to make necessary adjustments in your treatment.
Please note: We accept both physician referrals and self-referrals for an appointment at the First Seizure Clinic or for a second opinion or record review. In the case of second opinions, our preference is to comanage your ongoing care with your treating physician.
A Collaborative, Multidisciplinary Environment
When assessing a patient, our first priority is to understand the underlying cause of his or her disease. We meet weekly to review all active cases, so patients benefit from the input of multiple physicians and research investigators across a wide range of subspecialties.
The Epilepsy Service conducts pioneering research efforts via clinical trials (Clinical Trials at Partners), imaging research and laboratory research. In the latter category, for example, we aim to better understand brain activity by using innovative neurophysiological recording techniques with the long-term goal of improving therapies for patients with epilepsy.
Advanced technologies available at Mass General help us continually set new standards in the field. For example, as a result of our sophisticated imaging capabilities, we can maintain dedicated scanning protocols optimized for the pathologies that cause epilepsy. In fact, many regional and even national centers refer patients for specific imaging studies or contact us for guidance on imaging and scanning.
Finally, the Epilepsy Service is well known as a leader in epilepsy surgery. Evaluation is directed by one of our seasoned epileptologists, who works with a multidisciplinary team including neurosurgeons, a neuroradiologist, neuropsychologists, nurse practitioners and other health professionals. To date, we have performed over 500 surgeries, giving us experience that few epilepsy centers can match.
Accepting New Patients
Not Accepting New Patients
Be a part of the next discovery and explore our clinical trials.
Epilepsy Clinical Trials
Moving documentary on Epilepsy, featuring Mass General Epilepsy expert, Dr. Andrew Cole, Division Chief, Clinical Neurophysiology.
NeuroBlast: the newsletter of translational neuroscience and clinical care advances in neurology, neurosurgery, and neuroscience from Massachusetts General Hospital.
After years of seizures, a new device gives one Mass General epilepsy patient a new lease on life.
A young Albanian architect found help for his seizure disorders thanks to a unique team of specialists from the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Recent research is challenging the traditional definition of epilepsy as an expression of increased excitability and firing of a group of neurons. This has major implications for clinical treatment.
When Elton, a young Albanian architect, couldn’t find treatment for his disabling seizures in Albania, he traveled 500 miles to Austria to meet with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Epilepsy Service Director Andrew J. Cole, MD. Dr. Cole, in Austria on a business trip, felt Elton was a good candidate for surgery and brought his case back to his colleagues in Boston.
Dietary therapy is prescribed most often for patients with refractory epilepsy, whose seizures have not been controlled despite trying multiple antiepileptic drugs.
In this issue: spinal metastases & stereotactic radiosurgery; skull base tumors & endoscopic surgery; pediatric epilepsy dietary therapy; Alzheimer Disease: tau pathology; drug & gene discovery; early treatment; preclinical diagnostic tools.
Treatment for epileptic seizures with Dr. Thiele and brain surgery performed by Dr. Duhaime help this young epileptic patient regain normalcy after experiencing up to 12 seizures daily.
The Neuro Critical Care Team’s excellence in service and innovation bring a young man back to life after epileptic seizures leave him comatose for five months. Features Dr. Rosand and Dr. Cole.
Neurology residents, program graduates, faculty members, and the education director talk about training at Mass General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
A young man's quest to find a cure for his epileptic seizures takes him on a journey from Albania to Boston.
Wang Ambulatory Care Center
Consultation Second Opinion and Record Review
Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, First Seizure Clinic, Epilepsy Surgery
Phone: 617-726-6540Pediatric Epilepsy website
Andrew J. Cole, MDDirector, Mass General Hospital Epilepsy ServiceChief, Mass General Epilepsy Research LaboratoryMassachusetts General Hospital55 Fruit StreetBoston, MA 02114
Samantha R. DonovanClinical Research Coordinator
Patient Frequently Asked Questions Download FAQ PDFQ: What is your office contact information?A: Phone: 617-726-3311Fax: 617-726-9250Q: Where is the clinic location?A: Wang Building, Floor 8, Suite 835Q: What is your mailing address?A: Attn: Epilepsy UnitWang 73555 Fruit StreetBoston, MA 02114Q: What is required in order to schedule a new patient appointment?A: 2-3 most recent offices notes from local NeurologistMost recent Brain MRI report (you will need to hand carry CD to appointment)Most recent EEG report (you will need to hand carry CD to appointment)Q: How can I obtain a copy of my medical records from the Epilepsy Unit? A: You will need to complete the MGH Release of Information form and either fax or mail it back to our office. The release form can be found here.Q: What is my doctor’s NPI number for an insurance referral?A: Dr. Andrew Cole: 1043201502Dr. Daniel Hoch: 1396727327Dr. Sydney Cash: 1265415616Dr. Jay Pathmanathan: 1164545299Dr. Michael Brandon Westover: 1184653487Dr. Lidia Veras Rocha de Moura: 1952664443Dr. Deirdre O’Rourke: 1194092858Dr. Arash Hadipour-Niktarash: 1265669253Dr. Ammar Kheder: 1770925976Dr. Nigel Pedersen: 1801023742Dr. Aaron Struck: 1922238336Dr. Gina Deck: 1255642286Dr. Alice Lam: 1184949224Dr. Rodrigo Garcia Zepeda: 1982923785Tara Jennings, NP: 1508046723Q: Where do I have my PCP fax my insurance referral to?A: Referrals Office fax: 781-960-1265Q: How do I know if my insurance will cover my visit? A: Please call your insurance company to verify that your appointment or test will be covered. You can also contact our Financial Access Unit at 617-726-6828.Q: How do I update my demographic and insurance information?A: Please contact our Registration and Referrals Center at 866-211-6588Q: How long will it take for me to receive my test results and how will they be communicated to me? A: For lab work, radiology results, and EEG results please contact the office at least 48 hours after the test and we can let you know if the results are finalized. If they are, we will ask your provider to contact you to discuss the results with you.
The MGH Epilepsy Service offers comprehensive clinical consultation for patients with seizures and related disorders. A referring physician usually initiates consultations. Neurology Outpatient Referral Form (PDF) (or MS Word file format.)
A referral letter outlining the issues allows us to optimize your visit. When you come for a consult, please bring all relevant medical records, films and EEGs (original data, not just reports), and a witness who can describe your events. If it is not possible for a witness to accompany you, please arrange for an individual who has seen your events to be available by telephone.
Second Opinion and Record Review
The MGH Epilepsy Service offers second opinion services to patients and physicians with complex neurological problems. Our goal is to work with patients and their local physicians to optimize diagnosis and care. We can provide opinions based on review of medical records, images and test data, or based on a comprehensive consultation including examination and discussion with the patient and family members.
Epilepsy Research Programs Overview
The MGH Epilepsy Service at Mass General maintains an active research program involving projects ranging from healthcare outcomes research to advanced neuroimaging techniques to basic molecular studies of mechanisms of disease. Current projects are focused on understanding neuronal injury following seizures and developing strategies for neuroprotection that may eventually have clinical utility. The laboratory is particularly interested in understanding the biochemical pathways that mediate injury. Another current focus is on characterizing and modulating the activity of intracellular signaling kinases and their targets. These studies, initiated in cell culture, are now being extended to whole animal models. Ultimately, all of these projects aim toward the creation of both invasive and non-invasive mechanisms for restoring damaged neuronal function
For more information please refer to the research webpages on our seizure website.
Led by Andrew J. Cole, MD, the MGH Epilepsty Service is home to a world-class team of subspecialists including dedicated neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons who specialize in epilepsy surgery. We have earned a reputation for communicating and collaborating closely with neurologists in Greater Boston, around the country, and around the world. As a National Association of Epilepsy Centers-certified Level 4 Epilepsy Center, we "provide the more complex forms of intensive neurodiagnostics monitoring, as well as more extensive medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial treatment." We also offer a complete evaluation for epilepsy surgery, including intracranial monitoring and complex surgical procedures that many other institutions do not perform.
Training in clinical neurophysiology is supported by a busy EEG and Evoked Potentials Laboratory, a five-bed Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, a busy Lont-Term Bedside and ICU Monitoring Program, an eight-bed Sleep Laboratory, an Intraoperative Monitoring Program, and an Electormyography Laboratory housed in the Neuromuscular Center.
The MGH Epilepsy Monitoring Unit is equipped with a state-of-the-art fully networked Xltek digital video-EEG system. Three adult beds, one pediatric bed, and one portable unit are used for data acquisition. Studies are reviewed on-line on dedicated review stations located throughout the clinical neurophysiology laboratory, the neurology clinic, and the Epilepsy Service office suite. Monitoring studies include pre-surgical localization studies using extracranial electrodes, intracranial electrodes, and diagnostic studies in both adults and children.
This two-year fellowship provides a strong foundation in clinical epileptology and the technical, interpretive and clinical aspects of electroencephalography and evoked potentials.
Epilepsy and Neurobiology
The Fellowship offers advanced training in clinical epileptology and neurobiology, with emphasis on research in epilepsy and disorders of neuronal excitability.
Pediatric Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology
The Pediatric Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship program occurs in conjunction with our Mass General Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship program. Clinical Neurophysiology encompasses the clinical areas of Electroencephalography (EEG), Intraoperative monitoring (IOM), Epilepsy, and Electromyography (EMG).
Epilepsy Research Fellowships
Epilepsy Postdoctoral Fellow Research Associate
This fellow or research associate will study neuronal injury and neuroprotection in epilepsy using anatomic, biochemical and molecular techniques.
Epilepsy Training Faculty
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