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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Second Opinions for Pediatric Epilepsy Care

Why should I bring my child to the Pediatric Epilepsy Center if we already see a neurologist?

We believe that all children with refractory epilepsy deserve a second opinion at an epilepsy center. If you bring your child to the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, we will work with your referring neurologist and/or your child’s pediatrician to review diagnosis and treatment, and we will offer tests and treatments that may not be available at your community hospital.

Some of the questions we will address are:

  • Have your child's medications been given adequate time to work?
  • Have the appropriate medications for your child’s seizure disorder been tried?
  • Have other treatment options been explained or explored when or in case medications fail?

Comprehensive Re-evaluation

In addition to providing anticonvulsant (anti-seizure) medication for your child, we will conduct a reassessment, looking for genetic causes of epilepsy and subtle brain abnormalities (cortical malformations) that can cause seizures. If we find that your child has these abnormalities or genetic predispositions, there may be more effective treatment options available.

We will also review your child's test results. We may recommend recording your child’s actual seizures to better understand his or her epilepsy. Once we’ve completed diagnostic testing (EEGs, neuroimaging and, possibly, genetic testing), we will provide treatment options based on the results.

Maximize your child's treatment options.

Because we are a Level 4 Epilepsy Center for children, the treatment options we offer are often more extensive than options available at other hospitals. Some of the treatment options available at the Pediatric Epilepsy Center are:

  • Targeted, minimally invasive surgical techniques performed with sophisticated technology
  • Responsive neurostimulation (RNS)
  • Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS)
  • Ketogenic diets

To provide additional options to our patients, we often participate in pediatric epilepsy clinical trials, testing new drugs that are not yet generally available elsewhere.