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Epilepsy Program

The Pediatric Epilepsy Center of Excellence specializes in diagnosing and treating epilepsy in children of all ages, from newborns to teens. Our team is made up of pediatric epileptologists (pediatric neurologists with certification and advanced training in epilepsy care) as well as pediatric neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, dietitians, social workers, and other experts in treating and supporting young patients with seizure disorders.

In recognition of our comprehensive specialized care, the National Association of Epilepsy Centers has designated our San Francisco clinic a level four epilepsy center (the highest possible rating).

We specialize in early-onset epilepsy; seizure disorders that don't respond to standard treatments; and rare forms of epilepsy, including neonatal seizures, infantile spasms, Dravet syndrome (SCN1A), PCDH19 epilepsy and gelastic (laughing) seizures.

Controlling a seizure disorder starts with the right diagnosis. To that end, our doctors use the most advanced testing techniques available, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI, positron emission tomography (PET) scans, magnetoencephalography (MEG) scans (offered by few other programs) and neuropsychological assessments. For difficult-to-diagnose cases, we may use electrical studies to record and examine brain waves, placing electrodes on the scalp or the brain surface. As a result, we can often detect and diagnose epilepsy in its earliest stages.

Our goal is to develop the best possible treatment plan for each child. We draw on the full range of therapy options, including medications, customized ketogenic diets, surgical procedures, laser ablation, and implanted devices for vagal nerve stimulation or responsive neurostimulation.

In addition to approved state-of-the-art epilepsy treatments, our patients have access to clinical trials evaluating promising experimental therapies, as well as our support services, such as child psychology, special education and group therapy sessions. We work with many patients from other states or overseas and are happy to assist with coordinating insurance.

Our locations (3)

    Awards & recognition

    • Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties

    • One of the nation's best in neurology & neurosurgery

    • in NIH funding among U.S. neurology programs

    • Accredited level 4 epilepsy center (National Association of Epilepsy Centers)

    Plan your visit

    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your child's condition
    • List of medications, including dosages, plus any your child is allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

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    Your Stay

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    Your Child's Care Team

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    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

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    Decorative Caduceus

    A Clinical Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of ETX101 in Infants and Children With SCN...

    Recruiting

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    Decorative Caduceus

    A Study of Soticlestat as an Add-on Therapy in Children and Adults With Dravet Syndrome or Lenn...

    An Adverse Event (AE) is defined as any untoward medical occurrence in a clinical investigation participant administered a drug; it does not necessarily have to have a causal relationship with this treatment. An AE can therefore b...

    Recruiting

    More about this study
    See all clinical trials

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    Support services

    Child Life Services

    Activity rooms, pet therapy and more to help kids feel at home.

    Child Life

    Certified child life specialists ease the stress and anxiety of childhood illness through therapeutic play, schooling and family-focused support.

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    Social Services

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    Activity Rooms

    Activity rooms offer a relaxed environment for children of all ages. Features include a playroom, digital arts studio and teen lounge. Find out more.

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    Art Therapy

    Art therapy helps kids and families express themselves, making it easier to cope with pediatric health issues. Group and bedside services are available.

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    Music Therapy Program

    Board-certified music therapists help kids cope with illness and the feelings that come with it. Find out about group activities and bedside therapy.

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    School Program

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    School Re-Entry Program

    We help kids return to school after hospitalization by educating staff and students about their needs and recommending needed accommodations. Read more.

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    Individual Playtime & Instruction

    If your child can't be around other kids for medical reasons, you can sign up for private sessions in our activity and school rooms. Find out how.

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    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Family Resource Center

    We help families cope with the challenges of childhood illness and hospitalization in a relaxing environment where parents can get a much-needed break.

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    Parent Support Program

    Weekly activities, including knitting, scrapbooking, chair massage and more, help family caregivers get a much-needed break. Find out more.

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    Patient Relations

    Patient relations reps and nursing supervisors are here to answer questions and address concerns. Learn about your rights, how to reach us and more.

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    Spiritual Care

    Chaplains help UCSF patients, families and staff cope with the spiritual and emotional challenges of childhood illness. Learn more.

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    International Services

    If you're coming to UCSF from outside the U.S., we coordinate your child's appointments and provide other helpful services. Here's how to get started.

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