About the Epilepsy Program

The Pediatric Epilepsy Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is an accredited level 4 epilepsy center that specializes in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of infants, children and adolescents with seizures and epilepsy. Our goal is to help children with epilepsy and their families enjoy lives unaffected by seizures.

As part of CHOP’s Neuroscience Center, the Pediatric Epilepsy Program consists of an interdisciplinary team of physicians and other healthcare providers who collaborate to diagnose, manage, and provide social support to children and their families. For each child, we strive to understand why seizures have developed. We then design a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan that best controls seizures with the fewest possible side effects. For most children with epilepsy, such a treatment plan involves seizure medication. 

Most children seen through our Pediatric Epilepsy Program have seizures that respond well to anti-seizure medication. Some children, however, have seizures that do not respond well to medications. If this is the case for your child, our team will work with you to explore other treatment options that may help your child, including dietary therapy (the ketogenic diet), brain or nerve stimulation (responsive neurostimulation and vagus nerve stimulation), or epilepsy surgery.

Personalized Care for Patients With Epilepsy or Seizures

To provide your child with the best possible care, we listen to your family's unique concerns and answer your specific questions. Our team also works with primary care physicians, school personnel, therapists, and other medical specialists to care for the overall health and well-being of children with epilepsy.

Such care may include special attention to learning and behavioral differences, weight management, bone health, and the unique challenges of having epilepsy as a teenager.

Why choose our Pediatric Epilepsy Program?

CHOP’s Pediatric Epilepsy Program is well-known for delivering high-quality epilepsy care. We are accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) as a level 4 epilepsy center. This means we have been recognized as having the necessary expertise and facilities to provide the highest-level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with epilepsy.

Our program offers your child several distinct advantages:

  • A multidisciplinary team including neurologists, neurosurgeons, certified nurse practitioners, clinical nurses and a neuropsychologist, neuropathologist, neuroradiologist and social worker.
  • A dedicated 24-bed inpatient Neuroscience Unit staffed by a team with specialized training in pediatric neuroscience. This state-of-the-art unit is specially equipped to meet the unique medical and surgical needs of infants, children and young adults with neurological and neurosurgical conditions.  
  • State-of-the-art inpatient and outpatient video-EEG monitoring unit.
  • Access to the latest minimally invasive surgery techniques and technologies that allow us to develop a personalized epilepsy surgery plan for each child that will optimize seizure control and minimize pain.
  • Careful evaluation of potential epilepsy surgery candidates and VNS candidates.
  • Ketogenic diet expertise and support groups.
  • Availability of investigational antiepileptic medications.
  • Close collaboration with providers outside of CHOP, both across the United States and internationally. This means streamlined care and access to all the resources and advanced treatment options your child may need as part of their care.

Epilepsy research

CHOP's Pediatric Epilepsy Program team includes both clinical and basic scientists dedicated to finding better explanations for why seizures develop, finding better treatments for seizures, and preventing seizures from starting in the first place. We strive to bring advances from the laboratory to the clinic and the hospital in order to improve patient care.

Our team works with The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and colleagues around the USA and the world on a wide variety of research projects, including evaluation of investigational seizure medications.

One area of focus is in our epilepsy genetics and translational therapeutic program. Research advances in this area have led to the identification of genes that cause seizures, allowing us to target therapies more effectively to delivery personalized care. The Epilepsy Neurogenetics Initiative (ENGIN) integrates genetic testing into the diagnosis and treatment of children with difficult-to-treat or unexplained epilepsies, and provides access to expert care for children with genetic epilepsy syndromes and other genetic neurodevelopmental disorders.

Next Steps

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