Patients whose epilepsy is not responding to standard treatments may be offered participation on a clinical trial of a new approach. Participation in a clinical trial is voluntary. Patients enrolled in an investigational study receive very close follow-up care and careful medical supervision. Most investigational drug trials provide the medication being study at no cost to the patient, as well as free comprehensive care (laboratory tests and studies, EEG and MRI in some cases, and doctors' visits) and often travel compensation for patients. To learn more about current clinical trials for epilepsy patients, visit the Clinical Trials section, or call the office of Paul Mullin, MD, Director of Clinical Trials, at (212) 746-5519.
Our investigators have also led and participated in pioneering studies of neuromodulation to treat epilepsy, such as vagal nerve stimulation (now an FDA-approved therapy) and deep brain stimulation (a therapy approved for Parkinson's disease that is under study for epilepsy through the SANTE trial). Another clinical trial has assessed a promising pacemaker-like device (called the NeuroPace RNS System) that is implanted inside the skull to send a jolt of electricity to short-circuit an oncoming seizure.
Students, residents, and fellows training through Weill Cornell Medical College benefit from the exposure and expertise of the Weill Cornell Epilepsy Center. Medical students participate in a general four-week Neurology Clerkship in the third year. Residents learn about neurophysiologic testing and epilepsy care. And there is an ACGME-accredited Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship for applicants with a strong interest in a specific aspect of clinical neurophysiology, with subspecialty options such as adult EEG/epilepsy and intraoperative monitoring, pediatric EEG/epilepsy, and EMG and neuromuscular disease. For more information about these programs, visit the Education section.
The Weill Cornell Epilepsy Center is actively involved in outreach and education for the community and healthcare professionals. Our goal is to help the public understand epilepsy, which in turn will make life a bit easier for patients, their family members, and their friends. Our complimentary programs and services include:
- Health fairs
- Street fairs
- Special events concerning epilepsy education
One out of every ten individuals will experience a seizure during his or her lifetime, and one out of a hundred will experience recurrent seizures (epilepsy). Our center seeks not only to enhance the general awareness of epilepsy, but also to educate the public on first-aid procedures to follow if they see or experience a seizure.