Our Approach to Care

doctor greeting a child

If your child has epilepsy, our team understands how much this condition can affect your child’s development and quality of life.  At NewYork-Presbyterian, we are dedicated to finding the safest, most effective, and innovative approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy that addresses your child’s individualized needs.

Holistic and Comprehensive Care  

We recognize that every child diagnosed with epilepsy has a unique set of presentation of seizures , circumstances, triggers and needs.  Underlying cause of the neurological condition and co-existing medical problems may vary among children.  We take a holistic approach to care that considers the entire patient, including his or her physical, emotional and social factors.  We strive to partner with patients and their parents in shared decision-making, empowering them with knowledge, support, and the most effective treatment options to address symptoms and improve quality of life.

Multidisciplinary Team Approach

For children with epilepsy, different types of specialists are required to provide the expert consultation and skillful care that your child will need. The timing of such care is also critical to achieving the best outcome. We put together a personalized, multidisciplinary team of experts with the training and expertise to meet your child's unique needs. Your child has access to a team of pediatric specialists including pediatric epileptologists, pediatric neurologists, pediatric neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, electroencephalogram (EEG) technologists, epilepsy nurse practitioners, neuropsychologists, and dietitians, including those with expertise in ketogenic diet.

Moreover, if your child needs health care for another medical condition, we have world class medical specialists and subspecialists onsite to meet those needs as well.

Dedicated Pediatric Epilepsy Diagnosis and Monitoring

One of the most important components of your child's epilepsy care is the accuracy in epilepsy diagnosis and making decision in the appropriate treatment . Several diagnostic tests are critical for accuracy in epilepsy diagnosis. EEG-video monitoring is essential to determine the seizure types, and epilepsy diagnosis. We use the most advanced EEG technology to capture and localize the seizure onset.   Brain MRI is another important diagnostic test to identify the underlying cause if related to the developmental (cortical dysplasia) or acquired structural abnormalities affecting brain (such as  tumor, angioma, stroke) leading to epilepsy diagnosis. The other imaging modalities frequently used to detect the underlying cause and seizure focus include brain PET imaging and SPECT imaging. In addition to neurological imaging studies, we use sophisticated tools to assess your child's brain function, such as special electrophysiologic mapping techniques.

Specialized Care for Children with Other Disorders

Some disorders may predispose children to seizures, such as tuberous sclerosis complex, neurofibromatosis, cerebral palsy, clinical genetic syndromes and autism spectrum disorders. If your child has one of these disorders or a genetic disorder that can cause seizures, our dedicated specialists with expertise in these areas are available to provide care.

Seamless, Coordinated Care

We understand it can be challenging to juggle appointments and manage all the different aspects of your child's care. To provide seamless, efficient care, our patient care coordinators manage all the specialty consultations and steps required to care for your child. Our coordinators help arrange any necessary appointments, explain treatments, and review the timeframe for your child's care. We also help coordinate the care provided by our team with your child's pediatrician.

Transitional Care to Adulthood

Your child probably doesn’t dream of managing their medical care like they do one day driving a car or going to college. But as children with epilepsy get older, taking ownership of their condition when the time comes is an essential part of becoming independent.

At NewYork-Presbyterian, we help teens and young adults with epilepsy prepare to move from pediatric care to adult services. The decision at what age to transition varies from family to family but the process begins during early adolescence. Typically pediatric patients have fully transitioned to adult care by age 22. This transition is important because policies and procedures vary from our pediatric and adult services. You should speak with your child’s neurologist about making the transition from pediatric to adult care. Your doctor can make recommendations based on your child’s maturity level and readiness to take on the responsibilities of care and ensure a smooth transition.

Why Choose Us

National Recognition for Epilepsy

Our physicians are world-renowned for innovative approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, including precision medicine strategies for specific genetic epilepsies such as Angelman syndrome and Dravet syndrome, minimally invasive surgical approaches for epilepsy, and enhancing our understanding of rare epilepsies.

  • NewYork-Presbyterian is home to two Level 4 Comprehensive Epilepsy Centers, as designated by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers — the highest rank attainable.

Access to World-Class Pediatric Specialists

Your child's healthcare team has access to all of the various pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists who practice at NewYork-Presbyterian, ensuring that all of your child's medical needs can be addressed.

Dedicated Pediatric Epilepsy Centers

Our comprehensive Pediatric Epilepsy Centers at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital are among the most active programs on the East Coast and are major referral centers for the treatment of children with hard-to-control seizures. While our specialists teach young people with epilepsy how to advocate for their own healthcare needs as they get older, we work hard to connect young adult patients with appropriate specialists to transition into adult epilepsy care seamlessly.

Accessible Care Throughout the Region

In partnership with our main academic medical centers in Manhattan, we also offer specialized epilepsy services for children and adults across the New York area, with inpatient monitoring and outpatient care available in Brooklyn, Queens, and Westchester County. Our network makes it easy for patients to access care in the way that is most convenient for them, with a range of telehealth options also available at all centers.

Seamless Access to Resources and Support Services

At NewYork-Presbyterian, patients and families have seamless access our vast resources, including on-staff neuropsychologists who offer testing and treatments for emotional and cognitive issues that may occur as a result of a brain disorder.  We also have a Parent-to-Parent program that can connect you personally with a parent whose child has been treated for the condition your child has.

Transforming Pediatric Epilepsy Care

In a field of rapidly advancing techniques and technologies, NewYork-Presbyterian is at the forefront of innovation in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric epilepsy to improve the quality of life of children diagnosed with this debilitating disease.

  • The Columbia Comprehensive Epilepsy Center (CCEC) is a global leader in epilepsy research, diagnosis, and treatment. The CCEC team is continually engaged in clinical investigations of all of the major epilepsy surgical therapies currently under trial as part of multi-institutional NIH- or industry-sponsored studies.
  • At NewYork-Presbyterian & Weill Cornell Medicine, pediatric neurologists are spearheading Pediatric Epilepsy Learning Healthcare System (PELHS), a consortium of U.S. academic pediatric epilepsy centers that seeks to reduce seizures and their consequences for children with epilepsy through cycles of health data collection and analysis, dissemination of new evidence, and practice change.
  • At NewYork-Presbyterian, pediatric neurologists are participating in FAST (Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics), an Emergency Care Consortium grant to support the more than 90% of individuals with Angelman syndrome that are reported to have seizures.

Access to Clinical Trials

Our pediatric neurosurgeons lead and participate in clinical trials for patients with epilepsy. Please ask your physician about these studies and if you/your child may be eligible.

NewYork-Presbyterian Pediatric Epilepsy Program

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