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UPMC Comprehensive Epilepsy Center

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Approximately three million people in the U. S. have epilepsy, a disease in which patients have had two or more unprovoked seizures more than 24 hours apart. The UPMC Comprehensive Epilepsy Center was established in 1986 to provide state-of-the art diagnosis and treatment for adults and children with uncontrolled seizures. Our experts specialize in care for patients with forms of epilepsy that are difficult to manage.

Using the latest technology through the UPMC Brain Mapping Center, our epileptologists are able to perform the most advanced diagnostic testing, including non-invasive whole-head magnetoencephalogram (MEG) evaluations for patients with intractable epilepsy (not responsive to medications). Our multidisciplinary center combines the expertise of neurologists and neurosurgeons, and has one of the most active epilepsy surgical programs in the U.S., based on the most recent data from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC).

Advanced Diagnostic Testing

The goal of epilepsy treatment is to stop seizures, with medications being the first line of treatment for seizure control. Our experts work to establish a definitive diagnosis and to find the optimal medication regimes that provide maximum seizure control while minimizing side effects. Advanced monitoring, imaging, and brain mapping – all performed by UPMC experts – may be used to better understand and treat your seizures. Our facilities include:

  • Six adult and eight pediatric epilepsy monitoring unit beds for long- or short-term continuous closed-circuit television/electroencephalographic (CCTV/EEG) monitoring
  • Adult and pediatric EEG laboratories
  • PET, anatomic and functional MRI facilities (including MRI spectroscopy), and SPECT scanning facilities (for ictal and interictal studies)
  • A state-of-the-art magnetoencephalograph (MEG) facility featuring 306 sensors for whole head MEG recording, and 128 channel EEG recording capabilities
  • State-of-the-art neurosurgical operating rooms

Surgical Treatment

For those patients whose seizures are not adequately controlled by medication, our team includes neurosurgeons who specialize in epilepsy treatment. A number of surgical options are available, including focal point resection, multiple subpial resection, vagus nerve stimulation, and responsive neurostimulation using the RNS® System.


Our team is actively involved in a variety of research activities related to epilepsy causes and treatments. Research conducted at the Epilepsy Center has contributed to the introduction of seven new antiepileptic drugs over the past decade. In addition, our faculty members actively publish articles and book chapters.

Meet Our Experts