Jerome Engel Jr., MD, PhD

Jerome Engel Jr., MD, PhD

The UCLA Adult Epilepsy Program has been engaged in both clinical and basic research for over 54 years, funded by the National Institutes of Health, as well as by other sources. Clinical investigations involve the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and the evaluation of the beneficial effects of various surgical treatments in controlling seizures as well as improving quality of life for the patient. Basic investigations involve studies of fundamental mechanisms of epilepsy, as well as consequences of epileptic seizures.

This work takes advantage of opportunities to record directly from the human brain during depth and subdural grid electrode evaluation, and to examine human brain tissue removed in the course of surgical treatment. Such studies present no additional risk to the patients who are undergoing these routine diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and have contributed greatly to an understanding of human epilepsy that could lead to new concepts of medical management.

For Dr. Engel and his team, the aims of the UCLA Seizure Disorder Center are no seizures and no side effects as soon as possible. To reach this goal, the team plans to:

  • Investigate the neuronal mechanisms underlying the development of different forms of epilepsy and identify treatments that are more specific to an individual’s condition.
  • Identify reliable biomarkers that indicate who will develop epilepsy after a potential epileptogenic insult, who has epilepsy, and what type of epilepsy they have. Such biomarkers will not only revolutionize the development and application of treatment for seizures, but also could result in novel approaches to prevent, and hopefully cure, epilepsy.
  • Study psychological and psychiatric treatments for epilepsy-related psychosocial disabilities. Determining which therapies are most beneficial will fill a serious and unmet need.

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