Epilepsy imaging

Epilepsy Service

The MGH Epilepsy Service offers diagnosis, treatment, and consultations for seizure disorders, including surgical evaluations, and specialized care for first seizure events.
Epilepsy Service website

Epilepsy Unit: 617-726-3311

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About this Program

Clinical Services

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:

  • Consultation services at the request of primary care physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons and other specialists
  • Epilepsy surgery for patients with epilepsy that is poorly controlled by medication
  • First Seizure Clinic for rapid evaluation of patients with newly recognized episodes thought to represent seizures
  • Pediatric epilepsy services in which specialists diagnose and treat seizures and related conditions in infants, children and adolescents (MassGeneral Hospital for Children)
  • Epilepsy Monitoring Unit for sophisticated evaluation of potential surgical candidates and for diagnostic evaluation of patients with episodes that may represent seizures
  • Second-opinion and record-review services to assist physicians in optimizing diagnosis and care for patients with complex neurological problems
  • Remote second opinions in which we offer consultation and record review using electronic data transfer, without the need to travel to Boston

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:

  • In 1999 we launched the First Seizure Clinic, which was one of the nation's first clinics to focus exclusively on patients suffering seizures for the first time.
  • In 2002 we launched the MGH Pediatric Epilepsy Program.

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.

Research Opportunities

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.



Conditions & Diseases

  • Epilepsy and Seizures

    Epilepsy is a neurological condition involving the brain that makes people more susceptible to having seizures.

Clinical Trials


  • Seized: Inside the Mystery of Epilepsy - 5/23/2016, Research

    Moving documentary on Epilepsy, featuring Mass General Epilepsy expert, Dr. Andrew Cole, Division Chief, Clinical Neurophysiology.

  • NeuroBlast e-Newsletter - 6/24/2014, Clinical

    NeuroBlast: the newsletter of translational neuroscience and clinical care advances in neurology, neurosurgery, and neuroscience from Massachusetts General Hospital.

  • New device brings hope to epilepsy patients - 6/19/2014, Mass General

    After years of seizures, a new device gives one Mass General epilepsy patient a new lease on life.

  • The MGH Epilepsy Service – Where Complexity Meets Innovation - 6/4/2014, Mass General

    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.

  • Will New Research Redefine Epilepsy? - 5/28/2014, Mass General

    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.

  • The MGH Epilepsy Service – Where Complexity Meets Innovation - 5/27/2014, Mass General

    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 for Pediatric Epilepsy - 12/10/2013, Mass General

    Dietary therapy is prescribed most often for patients with refractory epilepsy, whose seizures have not been controlled despite trying multiple antiepileptic drugs.

  • NeuroBlast e-Newsletter December 2013 - 12/10/2013, Mass General

    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.


  • A young epileptic patient regains normalcy

    Treatment for epileptic seizures in young patient

    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.

  • young man recovers from seizures and coma

    A young man recovers from seizures and coma

    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.

  • Partners Neurology Residents at Mass General

    Partners Neurology Residency

    Neurology residents, program graduates, faculty members, and the education director talk about training at Mass General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

  • Mr. Elton

    Epilepsy: The Road to a Cure

    A young man's quest to find a cure for his epileptic seizures takes him on a journey from Albania to Boston.

Protocols and Guidelines


Contact Us

Epilepsy Service

Wang Ambulatory Care Center

15 Parkman Street8th Floor, Suite 835 Boston, MA 02114
  • Phone: 617-726-3311
  • Fax: 617-726-9250


  • 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Consultation Second Opinion and Record Review

Phone: 617-726-3311

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, First Seizure Clinic, Epilepsy Surgery

Phone: 617-726-3311

Pediatric Epilepsy

Phone: 617-726-6540
Pediatric Epilepsy website

Mailing Address

Andrew J. Cole, MD
Director, Mass General Hospital Epilepsy Service
Chief, Mass General Epilepsy Research Laboratory
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

E-mail: cole.andrew@mgh.harvard.edu

Clinical Trials

Samantha R. Donovan
Clinical Research Coordinator

Patient Frequently Asked Questions 

Download FAQ PDF

Q: What is your office contact information?
A: Phone: 617-726-3311
Fax: 617-726-9250

Q:  Where is the clinic location?
A: Wang Building, Floor 8, Suite 835

Q: What is your mailing address?
A: Attn: Epilepsy Unit
Wang 735
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

Q: What is required in order to schedule a new patient appointment?
A: 2-3 most recent offices notes from local Neurologist
Most 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: 1043201502
Dr. Daniel Hoch: 1396727327
Dr. Sydney Cash: 1265415616
Dr. Jay Pathmanathan: 1164545299
Dr. Michael Brandon Westover: 1184653487
Dr. Lidia Veras Rocha de Moura: 1952664443
Dr. Deirdre O’Rourke: 1194092858
Dr. Arash Hadipour-Niktarash: 1265669253
Dr. Ammar Kheder: 1770925976
Dr. Nigel Pedersen: 1801023742
Dr. Aaron Struck: 1922238336
Dr. Gina Deck: 1255642286
Dr. Alice Lam: 1184949224
Dr. Rodrigo Garcia Zepeda: 1982923785
Tara Jennings, NP: 1508046723

Q: Where do I have my PCP fax my insurance referral to?
A: Referrals Office fax: 781-960-1265

Q: 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 866-211-6588

Q: 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.


Epilepsy Consultations

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) (o rMS 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.

Clinical Fellowships

Clinical Neurophysiology

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

Epilepsy Service website

Epilepsy Unit: 617-726-3311

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