Epilepsy Overview

Personalized care Personalized care

At Mayo Clinic, your doctor takes the time to listen to you and understand your needs.

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When you come to Mayo Clinic with questions about your health, you'll find a team of experts who take the time listen and consider every aspect of your care.

Our neurologists trained in epilepsy and seizures have expertise and experience in evaluating and treating adults and children with epilepsy and seizures. Each year, Mayo Clinic teams evaluate and treat more than 9,200 people with epilepsy.

Our neurologists and pediatric neurologists work closely with doctors and staff trained in brain, spine and nervous system surgery (neurosurgeons), radiology and nervous system conditions (neuroradiologists), mental health conditions and nervous system conditions (neuropsychologists), and other areas.

Your care team evaluates the root cause of your seizures and talks with you about treatment options personalized for you. For children with epilepsy, the care team offers holistic care for the child and family, addressing the learning and behavioral changes that can occur with this condition.

Advanced diagnosis and treatment

Advancements in Epilepsy Diagnostics and Treatment

Advancements in epilepsy diagnostics and treatment

Our physicians are also researchers and educators, so they are on the forefront of new diagnostic and treatment options. They have available a full range of services to reduce seizure frequency and severity in adults and children, including new epilepsy medications. Some people might benefit from new technology and clinical trials that offer options even for rare syndromes.

Advanced diagnostic tests include:

  • Electroencephalography (EEG) including video EEG and ambulatory EEG
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Neuropsychological evaluations
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Subtraction ictal SPECT coregistered to MRI (SISCOM)

Treatments include:

  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Hormone therapy
  • Ketogenic diet
  • Research trials with medications and devices
  • Responsive neurostimulation
  • Standard and investigational drugs, including oral anti-seizure drugs and intranasal seizure-rescue preparations
  • Surgery (including awake brain surgery)
  • Vagus nerve stimulation

Seizures remain inadequately controlled in about a third of people with epilepsy. As a level 4 comprehensive epilepsy center, Mayo Clinic is positioned to identify the best treatment for people whose epilepsy doesn't respond to medications. These treatment options may include clinical trials, neurostimulation devices and, in some instances, surgery.

Mayo Clinic provides care to people with epilepsy and other health concerns, such as autoimmune conditions. Each person receives a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to specific needs, such as learning disabilities, behavioral issues, depression, and lifestyle and independence preferences.

Research advances that improve clinical care

Our clinician-researchers and scientists study the causes of epilepsy and new approaches to diagnosing and treating it, including medications, deep brain stimulation, intraoperative functional brain mapping and minimally invasive laser surgery. They developed an imaging technology that pinpoints seizure locations. Called subtraction ictal SPECT coregistered to MRI (SISCOM), this tool has been widely adopted and makes it possible for surgeons to remove the parts of the brain causing seizures while protecting healthy areas.

You may be eligible to participate in clinical trials testing investigational diagnostics and treatments for epilepsy, including investigational drugs, epilepsy genetics or deep brain stimulation. Read more about epilepsy research.

Nationally recognized expertise

The National Association of Epilepsy Centers rates all Mayo Clinic campuses as level 4 epilepsy centers, which provide the highest level of diagnosis and treatment options for people with epilepsy.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., is ranked highly performing for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2022–2023 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.

March 08, 2022