Michael R. Sperling, MD
Director, Jefferson Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
Director, Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory
Jefferson Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
This is a multidisciplinary quaternary care center for diagnosis and treatment of people with epilepsy. The center has a large referral base and high clinical volume. Center faculty includes 5 neurologists, 2 neuropsychologists, 2 neurosurgeons, and 1 radiologist. The center offers basic and advanced diagnostic testing and a full array of conventional and investigational medical and surgical treatments. The surgical program is among the largest in the US, performing 80-90 operations yearly. The center and its physicians have been recognized by Philadelphia magazine over the years as having faculty who are "best doctors" and providing "best care" for epilepsy in Philadelphia.
In addition to its outpatient facilities, the epilepsy center maintains an inpatient video-EEG monitoring unit consisting of eight beds, each in a specially outfitted private room, where 350-400 patients are admitted yearly. Patients are evaluated for diagnostic reasons, presurgical assessments, intracranial EEG recording, and management of uncontrolled seizures. The center is in the process of obtaining a magnetoencephalogram (MEG) device as well.
Epilepsy center faculty play a significant role in teaching Neurology residents and fellows, in both outpatient and inpatient settings. Residents are taught all elements of patient diagnosis and seizure management, interpretation of EEG and other neurophysiological tests, and mapping of cortical function. Faculty conduct separate epilepsy management conferences and clinical neurophysiology weekly conferences for resident and fellows. In addition, the department organizes separate annual Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology courses.
Faculty members actively engage in research, with extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health, private industry, and foundation sources. Some projects are collaborative, conducted with other epilepsy centers in the U.S. and Canda, while others are carried out solely at Jefferson. Interested residents are encouraged to conduct research projects with center faculty. In past years, housestaff have performed projects and published peer-reviewed papers.
Current Faculty Research Interests
- Clinical trials of antiepileptic drugs
- Investigation of hormonal therapy for epilepsy
- Investigation of predictors of success and prediction of outcomes after epilepsy surgery
- Investigation of cardiac disturbances in epilepsy
- Investigation of mortality in epilepsy
- Investigation of bone health in epilepsy
- Investigation of metabolic effects of antiepileptic drugs
- Investigation of genetic susceptibility in epilepsy
- Investigation of pharmacologic resistance to antiepileptic drugs
- Use of functional MR imaging to assess cognitive and language organization and reorganization in epilepsy
- Use of diffusion tensor and functional connectivity MR imaging in epilepsy
- Investigation of neuropsychological defects in epilepsy
- Planned studies to begin in the near future include deep brain stimulation, magnetoencephalography in epilepsy.
For additional information, please view our patient-oriented epilepsy site.