Seizure Disorders Research

Seizure Disorders Research

Johns Hopkins’ talented researchers in seizure disorders are working to identify and validate electrophysiological signatures of human cortical processing and use these to identify neural mechanisms of motor, sensory and language functions as they relate to epilepsy.

A long-standing research program using intracranial EEG to study human brain mechanisms of language, attention, and motor function uses volunteer subjects are patients undergoing intracranial EEG monitoring before epilepsy surgery.

Our group is also taking on super refractory status epilepticus (SRSE) associated with stroke, traumatic brain injury, infection or tumors—a condition with a 40 percent fatality rate in the past. We are finding that therapy with a ketogenic diet can bring up to 90 percent of SRSE patients under control.

Other clinical projects focus on the management of drug-resistant epilepsy, electroencephalography, intraoperative monitoring, and , a procedure revived at Johns Hopkins.

Our pediatric epilepsy research has a long-standing international reputation for investigating the clinical aspects diet-based interventions including ketogentic diet, intermittent fasting and amino acid therapy. Substantial resources are enabling us to discover what works, when and why.

For instance, our multidisciplinary center dedicated to the study of Rasmussen syndrome involves both laboratory-based and clinical research and is the only one of its kind in the world.

As a member of the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Consortium, we currently participate in a multicenter trial for medication outcomes. We participate in research associated with Neurosciences Intensive Care Nursery, part of Johns Hopkins’ neonatal intensive care unit. 


Johns Hopkins Adult and Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring Units

Mackenzie Cervenka, director of the adult epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) and Sarah Kelley, director of the pediatric EMU at Johns Hopkins share details about the units and their purpose, why patients are referred, and what happens after discharge.