Epilepsy Program

Living with epilepsy can be challenging. Today, however, there is a range of effective treatment options for people with this condition. You’ll be glad to know that all these options are available at UMass Memorial, where our multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons and neurologists work together to diagnose and treat all forms of epilepsy in adults and children.

Epilepsy Conditions We Treat

Today, epilepsy is classified into three major groups of seizures, all of which we treat here at UMass Memorial:

  • General onset seizures, which affect both sides of the brain at the same time; they include seizure types such as tonic-clonic, absence or atonic
  • Focal onset seizures, which can start in one area or group of cells in one side of the brain; these are further classified as focal onset aware seizures (when a person is awake and aware during a seizure), and focal onset impaired awareness (when a person is confused or their awareness is affected in some way during a seizure)
  • Unknown onset seizures, when the beginning of a seizure isn’t known (such as when it’s not witnessed, or happens during sleep); as more information is obtained, this type of seizure may be diagnosed as a focal or general onset seizure

Epilepsy Services We Offer

Our epilepsy neurologists are skilled in the management of seizures using medications. When more than medication is needed, however, our fellowship-trained epilepsy surgeons provide today’s most advanced surgical options for treating medication-resistant epilepsy. These options include:

  • Long-term invasive monitoring
  • Stereotactic placement of depth electrodes
  • Awake craniotomy with electrical brain mapping for language and motor assessment
  • Vagal nerve stimulator placement
  • Disconnective and resective surgery
  • Interstitial laser ablation for temporal lobe and hypothalamic lesions

In addition, we are leaders in the growing field of minimally invasive robotic surgery for epilepsy.

Developing New and Improved Epilepsy Therapies

Our epilepsy neurosurgeons are pioneers in epilepsy care, research and education. They have authored one of the world’s leading textbooks on epilepsy surgery, and are using computational modeling and electrophysiological brain wave data obtained from epilepsy patients to better understand how seizures develop. Together with other doctors and scientists, we are working to develop new and improved therapies for epilepsy patients.

Click here to learn more about Neurosurgery services at Umass Memorial Medical Center.


To schedule an appointment with our Neurosurgery Epilepsy team or contribute to our epilepsy research, please call 508-334-0605.