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The F.E. Dreifuss Comprehensive Epilepsy Program

EpilepsyThis internationally recognized pioneering program provides diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy and related disorders while at the same time conducti

ng basic and advanced clinical research in epilepsy-related areas.

The program provides both inpatient and outpatient services. The six-bed inpatient unit is on the sixth floor of the hospital, and a two-bed invasive monitoring suite is in the NNICU.

The program operates the EEG/EP Laboratory and offers the following additional services to adult and pediatric patients:

  • Evaluation
  • Intensive monitoring
  • Drug therapy or trials
  • Serum anticonvulsant level testing
  • Evaluation for surgical therapy (including long-term videoEEG monitoring and intracranial electrode monitoring)
  • Concentrated vocational rehabilitation
  • Social services, and health and special education
  • Physical and occupational therapy, psychological evaluation, and nutritional guidance are also available


The Comprehensive Epilepsy Program operates a regional clinic program that serves the western two-thirds of the Commonwealth of Virginia and several counties of upper eastern Tennessee. The clinic program has grown out of a State Health Department-sponsored Epilepsy and Child Neurology Program, and now consists of master clinics and field clinics. The department is responsible for direct patient care to one of the master clinics and four of the field clinics.

A pioneer in epilepsy treatment

University of Virginia's F.E. Dreifuss Comprehensive Epilepsy Program (CEP) was founded in 1977 as one of only three such programs nationwide funded by the National Institutes of Health. The CEP offers the most advanced resources available to help patients achieve remission of their seizures. Today, the CEP is not only comprehensive in terms of it's team approach to care, but also in it's ability to apply every available diagnostic and treatment option.

We have outpatient clinics in Charlottesville and Southwest Virginia to provide initial and ongoing consultations to about 3,500 individuals each year. Digital/video EEGs are a part of the comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services.

Through the Inpatient Epilepsy Unit, we offer comprehensive evaluation, including intensive video and EEG monitoring of patients with seizures that are difficult to diagnose or control. We are able to work with up to 7 patients at a time in our new facilities.

We treat patients with intractable epilepsy in other ways. Surgery to remove the seizure focus is indicated for some epilepsy patients. This may be performed using standard neurosurgical techniques or the Gamma Knife. Vagus Nerve Stimulation and experimental medications are other alternatives. Click here for detailed information about epilepsy surgery and testing.

Hope through Research

We emphasize advanced clinical research in the study of epilepsy. Several clinical trials of new anti-epileptic drugs and research into new surgical therapies such as Gamma Knife treatment of lesions, are underway at any given time. Researchers are equipped with specialized resources necessary to conduct advanced clinical research. Patient participation is encouraged and appreciated.

Treatment by a Team

Our multidisciplinary team of adult and pediatric epileptologists, nurses, technicians, social workers, nutritionists, educational counselors and others provide a full complement of care to patients. Our goal is to work with the patients, their families and their referring physicians to ensure that we provide the best possible treatment across the continuum of care.

For more information about epilepsy, please visit the Epilepsy Foundation Association.

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