Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
Approximately 470,000 children currently live with epilepsy. This neurological disorder causes abnormal electrical activity in the brain, resulting in seizures.
Timely and effective care is especially important for children with epilepsy. Left unchecked, symptoms can affect cognitive development.
The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is home to experts who specialize in treating epilepsy in children. Here, your child has access to the specialists, tools and procedures necessary to accurately diagnose and treat epilepsy.
Our goal is to personalize care for every child’s unique needs and improve the quality of life for all children living with epilepsy.
Departments and Specialists
The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is part of CHLA’s Neurological Institute. Our pediatric epileptologists are Board-certified in adult and pediatric neurology and have specialized training in pediatric seizure disorders.
The team includes experts from a wide range of medical specialties, including:
In addition, we also have:
- Psychologists to support children’s mental health
- Physical and occupational therapists to guide patients through recovery
- Social workers to ensure families are supported every step of the way
- Experts who interface with your child’s school to develop an individualized education plan (IEP)
The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center’s services and facilities are designed specifically for children with epilepsy—many of which are not available elsewhere. When you bring your child here for epilepsy treatment, you get access to the most advanced diagnostic and monitoring services.
New-Onset Seizure Clinic
Our clinic is one of the largest programs of its kind in the state. We aim to see patients no more than two weeks after their first seizure event. Prior to your first appointment, your child will undergo EEG testing. The faster your child is accurately diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.
Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)
We have an inpatient EMU, which features the latest technology for monitoring your child’s brainwaves and seizure activity 24/7.
Our epilepsy playroom is one of only a few in the country. The playroom is Bluetooth-enabled so that children can play while technicians in another room continue to monitor patients’ brainwaves and seizure activity.
Non-surgical Epilepsy Treatments
Whenever possible, we try to control epilepsy using a combination of non-surgical treatments. These may include:
- Medication: Our doctors use a variety of medications to treat epilepsy and help reduce the frequency of seizures.
- Genetic and neurogenetic testing: Our on-site genetics lab helps doctors accurately map epilepsy syndromes to specific genes. They use this information to help guide treatment.
- Clinical trials: Our team actively participates in trials of new medications and other epilepsy treatments. This means that patients have access to groundbreaking therapies not available at other centers.
- Diet modification: Some children experience fewer seizures after changing their diets. Our dietitians can help patients follow a ketogenic or modified Atkins diet, both of which have been shown to alleviate symptoms.
- Physical and occupational therapy: Our physical and occupational therapists help patients improve their motor skills.
For about a third of children with epilepsy, medical management isn’t enough to effectively control their seizures. Our highly trained surgeons perform more than 100 procedures a year on infants and children with epilepsy and have success rates that are among the highest in the country: Close to 90%of patients become seizure-free. Surgical solutions include:
- Brain mapping: Our surgeons use advanced EEG and other monitoring techniques to help pinpoint the exact region in the brain causing seizures. This allows surgeons to remove those areas while leaving healthy brain tissue untouched.
- ROSATM robot: Our surgeons use this robotic technology to perform minimally invasive brain surgery. They are able to place electrodes in the brain that detect seizures without opening the skull or even shaving the child’s head.
When 4-year-old Adrian checks into CHLA’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, he’s no longer stuck in his room. Thanks to a state-of-the-art mobile monitoring system, Adrian, and other young patients with epilepsy, can now roam free in the playroom. And while he’s busy playing, technologists in another room are monitoring his brain’s activity and watching for seizures. Read more.
Awards and Certifications
The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is certified as a Level 4 specialized epilepsy center—the highest level—by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers.
We are also an ABRET-certified EEG center and are accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education.
Training and Internships
The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at CHLA offers ACGME-accredited pediatric epilepsy fellowships. Our fellows work closely with an expert team of epileptologists, both in the clinic and on a variety of research projects. Find out more about our Pediatric Epilepsy Fellowship opportunities.