Epilepsy Program

General Information

The Yale Epilepsy Program provides promising options for many adult and pediatric patients. Internationally known for clinical excellence and innovative research, this program was one of the nation's first and has evolved into one of the most active and advanced in the world.

Yale is internationally recognized as a leader in innovative surgery for medically intractable epilepsy. This multidisciplinary program includes adult and pediatric neurosurgeons, epileptologists, neuropsychologists, neuroradiologists, and neuropathologists within outpatient facilities, a six-bed adult epilepsy monitoring unit, a two-bed pediatric epilepsy monitoring unit, and a technologically advanced operating suite.

Neurologists work in collaboration with neurosurgeons and diagnostic radiologists to deliver intensive and innovative therapeutic and diagnostic services to individuals with varying forms and degrees of seizures and epilepsy. Specialists perform intensive audiovisual and EEG monitoring for diagnosis and localization of the affected area.

Patients worldwide are evaluated in phases to precisely determine concordance of electrophysiology, cognitive testing, history, physical and neurological examination with advanced imaging, using MRI, SPECT and PET techniques.

The combination of advanced diagnostic techniques available at Yale is not duplicated by any other center in the U.S. Each surgical patient is addressed individually to determine which procedure or combination of procedures - such as the use of multiple kinds of electrodes - is appropriate.

The state-of-the-art operating room suite contains advanced digitized imaging, computerized stereotaxy and sophisticated electrophysiology in order to perform optimal, yet safe, resections and to place intracranial electrodes for those patients who need invasive electrophysiological confirmation of an epileptogenic region.

Yale conducts research in all areas - physiology, biochemistry, basic science, and imaging - making this the most progressive program in the country. Yale School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital are participating in a multi-center, FDA-approved feasibility clinical investigation of a responsive brain neurostimulator device for the treatment of epilepsy. The neurostimulator is designed to detect seizures in patients with epilepsy and to deliver mild electrical stimulation to suppress seizures before the patient has any symptoms. And Yale is part of a multi-institution consortium testing triggered deep-brain stimulation, a very new approach to treating uncontrolled epilepsy.

Special services offered by this program include:
  • Evaluation through use of the ictal SPECT, a special imaging procedure that allows an image of the blood flow in the brain to be captured during a seizure
  • Combined usage of all types of implantable electrodes including depth electrodes, subdural strip electrodes, and grid electrodes to localize the seizure-generating region in some patients
  • Surgical procedures for epilepsy, including the anteromedial temporal lobe resection, staged corpus callosotomy, and intra-operative or extra-operative mapping of the primary function
  • Evaluation of epilepsy patients through the use of the most sophisticated MR machines in the world

Contact: Colleen Malone, Epilepsy Surgery Coordinator, 203-785-4891

Epilepsy Program Leadership

Dennis Dee Spencer, MD headshot

Dennis Dee Spencer, MD

Surgical Director

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