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Solving the Epilepsy Puzzle

One of the world’s most complex and widespread neurological diseases, epilepsy affects more than 65 million people. The multidisciplinary team at UT Southwestern’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute is at the forefront of solving the mysteries surrounding the disorder and making the kind of scientific and clinical breakthroughs that can change our patients’ lives on a daily basis.​​

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UT Southwestern Medical Center offers people with epilepsy a comprehensive and personalized approach to care, from clinical trial research to electroencephalography (EEG) evaluation, and brain mapping methods for pinpointing and controlling seizures. We have one of the largest epilepsy teams in Texas, specializing in care for adult and pediatric patients in North Texas and beyond.

The National Association of Epilepsy Centers has designated UT Southwestern's Epilepsy Program as a Level 4 center, the highest ranking possible. This means that UT Southwestern has the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy. 

Our program is also accredited by the Laboratory Accreditation Board of ABRET for precision and integrity.


Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

Get a look inside our Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU), which plays an integral role in the care we provide to our patients, and learn more about our team. 

Leading-Edge Care to Manage Seizures

Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain’s electrical activity. People with epilepsy suffer from recurrent episodes such as sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions. Epilepsy seizures can affect the brain in different ways.

Epilepsy experts at UT Southwestern offer diagnostic and treatment capabilities for every stage of seizure disorder, helping patients with:

  • Complex health care needs related to epilepsy with a multidisciplinary team
  • Plans to become pregnant while taking medications for epilepsy
  • Recently diagnosed epilepsy
  • Seizure-like events that may or may not be epilepsy
  • Seizures resulting from or complicated by traumatic brain injuries and concussions, strokes and other cerebrovascular conditions, sleep disorders, and other conditions
  • Uncontrollable or treatment-resistant seizures that don’t respond to medications
  • New surgical treatment options, such as resection and device therapy

If you are scheduled for an EEG at the UT Southwestern Epilepsy Clinic, please download these instructions to prepare for your appointment.

Pediatric Epilepsy Program

UT Southwestern's Pediatric Epilepsy Team, through the Neurology Service at Children's Medical Center, has decades of neurology expertise to provide treatment options for even the most complex pediatric epilepsy cases.


Whether a patient is newly diagnosed with seizures or struggling with long-term treatment-resistant epilepsy, care at UT Southwestern begins with a comprehensive evaluation. Our diagnostic process helps physicians better understand a person’s seizure disorder and recommend a treatment approach that reduces a patient’s seizure burden and improves his or her quality of life.

For patients with uncontrolled seizures, UT Southwestern offers a state-of-the-art, twelve-bed epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital and a ten-bed pediatric EMU at Children’s Hospital. Patients admitted to the EMU receive a comprehensive evaluation using continuous digital video recording by dual cameras in each patient room. The EMU allows physicians to refine diagnoses, and the clinical staff can respond in real time to a patient's needs as a seizure occurs.

Mission of Goodwill

The city of Bahir Dar in northern Ethiopia has a population of nearly a quarter million people but no neurologists to handle brain conditions such as epilepsy. In 2018, UT Southwestern doctors visited Bahir Dar to establish a neurology program endorsed by Ethiopia’s health minister. UT Southwestern is teaching local medical personnel the basics of neurology and each summer is sending its own doctors and medical residents to help patients there.

Learn More


UT Southwestern takes a team approach to epilepsy treatment. Neurologists who are trained in treating epilepsy lead care teams together with specialists in neurosurgery, neuroradiology, and neuropsychology, along with our advanced practice providers, nurses, and EEG technologists.

Patients undergoing evaluation for epilepsy surgery at UT Southwestern benefit from built-in “second opinions” from this broad range of specialists, who meet as a team to evaluate treatment options for each patient. The team develops a personalized strategy that balances the latest developments in treatments to control seizures with quality-of-life considerations.

Treatment options at UT Southwestern include:


Epilepsy often can be controlled with medication. UT Southwestern offers a broad range of medications, including surgical resection and the latest therapeutics such as devices.


UT Southwestern neurologists are among the first epilepsy experts in the United States to apply autoimmune neurology to treat seizures. Autoimmune disorders can cause epilepsy in more than 20 percent of patients, particularly those with seizures that cannot be managed by medications.


Surgical options at UT Southwestern include:

  • Intracranial EEG
  • Minimally invasive laser ablation surgery for treatment
  • Neurostimulation
  • Surgical resection 

UT Southwestern is also among the first hospitals in Texas to use the Robotized Stereotactic Assistant (ROSA®), which is based on technology that combines GPS-like mapping software with a robotic arm to provide accurate measurements and precise movements. Using ROSA to assist, neurosurgeons can pinpoint the source of seizures and then treat them. Using ROSA reduces operating time, shortens recovery time, and improves overall safety.

Other Treatments

Other specialized treatments include alternative diet therapy and hormone therapy.

Young mom hopes breakthrough research for seizure prediction will improve daughter's life

Just a few months into her life, Elizabeth Delacruz was diagnosed with a rare and terminal neurological disease that cause seizures every hour. Now, working toward a possible treatment, researchers at UT Southwestern are using EEGs to help predict seizures minutes in advance.

Clinical Trials

Epilepsy research conducted at UT Southwestern makes important contributions to developing new medications and devices that can help patients effectively control their seizures. Patients at UT Southwestern have the opportunity to participate in ongoing clinical trials that are investigating the latest therapies.