UCLA is a treatment destination for epilepsy patients worldwide and provides care for hundreds of patients throughout the year. The innovative research that is translated into advanced patient therapies and compassionate clinical care distinguishes the esteemed faculty in the UCLA Seizure Disorder Center and the UCLA Adult Epilepsy Program. Dr. Jerome Engel, Jr., serves as the director of both the UCLA Seizure Disorder Center and the UCLA Adult Epilepsy Program.
The UCLA Seizure Disorder Center takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating epilepsy and focuses on both clinical and basic investigations that lead to groundbreaking discoveries and treatment. The Center comprises epilepsy specialists and researchers, such as neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, psychologists, neuroradiologists, and other caregivers. The UCLA Adult Epilepsy Program in the Department of Neurology in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is the heart of the Seizure Disorder Center. Together, the faculty have the expertise to treat the most complex adult epilepsy cases.
Epilepsy affects three-million Americans and 50- to 70-million people worldwide. One-million people in the United States suffer from drug-resistant epilepsy, which translates into a significant demand for expert neurologists with specialized training, as well as an urgent need to uncover the causes of the disease and formulate new therapies to treat all forms of epilepsy. Episodic loss of control without warning causes tremendous problems for people living with epilepsy. Studies published in prestigious journals indicate that between 30 and 55 percent of people with epilepsy also have depression. In addition, depression heads the list of the other medical conditions that people with epilepsy could also have. Besides the difficulty of adjusting to a chronic medical condition and living with seizures, other causes of depression in people with epilepsy can include brain injury, changes in hormones, and side effects from epilepsy medication. Even patients who have had surgery have found it difficult to adjust to living seizure-free.
UCLA investigators have been tireless in their pursuit to uncover new avenues of healing and were the first to discover a number of devices and therapeutic approaches in the treatment of epilepsy:
Patients are referred to a subspecialty clinic in one of these areas for an initial assessment. The individual clinics are well integrated with one another so patients benefit from all available treatment options, including experimental drug trials, as well as surgical intervention.