Centers of Excellence

Epilepsy in Children, Comprehensive Pediatric Epilepsy Program, Seizures, Phoenix, Arizona

Finding new ways to diagnose, treat, and cure epilepsy in children

According to the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona, an estimated 6,100 children in Arizona have epilepsy, and about 1,800 of those children have intractable (difficult to treat or cure) seizures that require specialized care.

In addition to the physical consequences of the disease, intractable seizures often limit a child's social life and can prohibit activities like bike riding, swimming, and driving.

Dr. John Kerrigan, Epileptologist

Dr. John Kerrigan, a Pediatric Epileptologist, leads the Comprehensive Pediatric Epilepsy Program within the Hospital's Barrow Neurological Institute.

In 2009, Phoenix Children's team of specialists treated 1,251 children inpatient and 629 in an outpatient setting.

Collaborative, enhanced care

Epilepsy Patient and pet therapy dog

Phoenix Children's brings in top talent, uses new technology, and customizes patient plans based on the latest developments in treatment.  Specialized medical equipment, pediatric patient rooms, and pediatric specialists - in addition to the hospital's family-centered focus - makes the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital uniquely qualified to treat pediatric patients. The collaborative program also includes our pediatric psychologists, neuropsychologists, and psychiatrists, for the well-rounded care needed to achieve the best results. 

Treatment options for children with epilepsy

The team works together with each patients unique needs to diagnose, treat, and cure epilepsy in children. Treatment options include:  

The program also includes the Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. Each patient's room is outfitted with video equipment to capture seizure activity while the child's brainwaves are recorded. The feedback received during an actual seizure leads to a more accurate diagnoses.

Hypothalamic Hamartoma Program

We have the only multidisciplinary program for evaluating and treating pediatric patients with hypothalamic hamartomas (HH) in the United States. We are one of the leading programs in the world for hypothalamic hamartoma research including the development of innovative surgical therapies for this rare and disabling disorder. 

Research, education and partnerships 

The Epilepsy Program is an active participant in making new drug therapies for epilepsy available for children by participating in drug development trials. Researchers are also using state of the art EEG methods to diagnose seizures in the intensive care units.

The Epilepsy Program is active in training medical students, residents, fellows and practicing physicians to provide the highest possible standard of care for children with epilepsy.

Our staff wors at taking research discoveries in pediatric epilepsy and translating them from bench to bedside.

Additional information and resources about epilepsy and seizures

About epilepsy and seizures

"How much do you know about seizures?" quiz

Patient education handout - About seizures (PDF)

The Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona

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