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Epilepsy

The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital is at the forefront of epilepsy treatment and research.  For 80 years, clinicians and researchers from around the world have come  to The Neuro to obtain training in the treatment and basic science of epilepsy.

Epilepsy at The Neuro started with the pioneering work, in the 1940s and 50s, of Dr. Wilder Penfield who was trying to treat patients with epilepsy that did not respond  to treatment with antiepileptic drugs. Dr. Penfield used electrical stimulation of the brain to pinpoint the area that was responsible for generating seizures and the parts of the brain that are responsible for critical functions such as speech and movement. With this information he could remove the part of the brain responsible for seizures while leaving in place the brain areas necessary for performing important functions. This became known as the "Montreal Procedure," a surgical treatment for epilepsy that has now been adopted all over the world. Since that beginning the procedure has been considerably improved and refined from research performed at the MNI and at other centres. Pioneer researchers and physicians of The Neuro Epilepsy Group include Herbert Jasper, Theodore Rasmussen, Pierre Gloor, Brenda Milner, Fred and Eva Andermann and many others.


In the past decade, work carried out at The Neuro has included major developments in new diagnostic techniques, which also provide a better understanding of the mechanisms of how epilepsy is generated and evolves. This includes work in clinical and experimental neurophysiology (electroencephalography or EEG and magnetoencephalography or MEG), structural and functional imaging (MRI, functional MRI, PET), cognitive sciences and neurogenetics. The surgical treatment of epilepsy now includes investigations with intracerebral electrodes in some patients and image-guided robotics-assisted surgery.

The Epilepsy Group enjoys close research and clinical collaborations with several research groups at the MNI including Brain Imaging, Cognitive Neuroscience and Neural Circuits.

Group Leader
Andrea Bernasconi

 

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The Montreal Neurological Institute & Hospital is a McGill University research and teaching institute; delivering the highest quality of care to patients, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. The Neuro is proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.