The multidisciplinary team at the Epilepsy Program at Beth Israel Medical Center is actively involved in ongoing research for better methods of epilepsy diagnosis and treatment. Current research efforts include:
Clinical Medication Trials
At any given time, the Beth Israel's epilepsy program typically takes part in one to two multi-center clinical trials of experimental medications for seizures. Most are randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trials, the gold standard in clinical trials.
If you are interested in participating in a clinical medication trial, please call (212) 844-6111.
The epilepsy team also participates in an ongoing collaboration with genetic studies to explore inherited subtypes of epilepsy. The epilepsy team identifies appropriate and interested patients for such studies, draws blood, and participates in the gathering of data.
The Search for Newer Tools and Better Ways
We are always looking for deeper, more enlightened and more instructive ways to think about epilepsy, analyzing our own data and seeking to improve our practices. Ongoing quantitative analysis and questioning leads to development of better and new protocols to guide our management and to identify appropriate candidates for various therapies early in the diagnosis process.
All the members of our team -- not just the epileptologists themselves -- are enthusiastic researchers. For instance, the team's neuropsychologist is researching new techniques to improve that discipline's delivery of care, and the team's nurse practitioners double as study coordinators, actively involved in the recruitment of patients and the administration of the projects.
As hosts, the epilepsy program organizes and runs frequent continuing medical education conferences for physicians and nurses in areas ranging from the basics of seizure control to more advanced topics.
Several times a year, the epilepsy program also hosts educational seminars and lectures for patients, families and the community. Recently, we organized our first such conference in Spanish and advertised strictly to the Spanish-speaking community.
The epilepsy team members are also frequent participants in and presenters to industry-wide conferences, including such prestigious annual conferences hosted by the American Epilepsy Society, the International Epilepsy Congress, and the American Academy of Neurology. These professional gatherings are opportunities for the epilepsy team members to stay abreast of the latest developments and to share what they have learned and discovered through their presentations.
The findings of the epilepsy program's many research efforts are frequently published in such well-regarded science publications as Journal of the American Medical Association, Seizure, Annals of Neurology and Epilepsia.
Many staff members are also dedicated to lobbying efforts with the government and the health care industry to help reduce the unjust stigma associated with epilepsy.