Pediatric epilepsy

Helping kids live active, healthy, happy lives

We know how scary it is when your child has a seizure. At the UW Health Pediatric Epilepsy Program, we treat children who have experienced just one seizure and those who have had many.
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Programs and research

Level 4 comprehensive epilepsy center

At UW Health, we use a team-based approach and focus on both your child's emotional and physical health. Our pediatric epilepsy team helps children live active, healthy, happy lives.

Our adult and pediatric epilepsy services earned the highest rating from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC). As a level 4 epilepsy center, we provide the highest level of medical and surgical evaluation and care for you.

Our services include:

  • Evaluation for epilepsy surgery

  • Medical treatment

  • Neurodiagnostic monitoring

  • Neuropsychological treatment

  • Psychosocial treatment

The NAEC recommends treatment at a level 4 epilepsy center when:

  • Your seizures are not under control after three months of care from a primary care doctor

  • Your seizures are not under control after 12 months of care with a general neurologist

Advancing epilepsy care through research

Our epilepsy doctors and scientists work to improve epilepsy care for you. We study the causes of epilepsy and test new treatments. Learn more

Meet our team

An expert team by your side

The pediatric epilepsy team at UW Health includes experts in epilepsy, neurology, neuropsychology, neuroradiology, neurosurgery and nutrition.

Our providers

Conditions and treatments

Assessing seizures to find the best treatments

At UW Health, we diagnose and treat children and teens with seizures and epilepsy.

A seizure is an "electrical storm" in the brain, and epilepsy is a condition where children continue to have seizures. Not every seizure is a sign of epilepsy. Some seizures are due to a passing cause like a fever or low blood sugar, and some seizures have no obvious cause.

There are many different causes of epilepsy. These include brain injuries, brain tumors, changes in the body’s instructions for making the brain (genetic changes), infections and autoimmune conditions. If you child has a seizure, they may have tests to determine if they have epilepsy. If your child is diagnosed with epilepsy, their doctor usually will prescribe anti-seizure medicine.

A range of care options

Many children diagnosed with epilepsy outgrow their condition. Others need treatment. Epilepsy treatments include:

  • Anti-seizure medicines

  • Medicine trials, to find the right medicine or the right combination of medicines

If your child does not respond to anti-seizure medicines, there are other treatment options, including:

  • Epilepsy monitoring unit to evaluate your child’s seizures

  • Ketogenic diet

  • Vagus nerve stimulation

If surgery is recommended, your child will have extensive testing first. This can include:

  • Comprehensive epilepsy surgery pre-evaluation

  • Intracranial EEG

  • ROSA (robotic stereotactic assistance)

For patients

Success stories and resources

Meet our patients

When baby Milena's seizures wouldn't stop, her family began to lose hope. Once UW Health doctors discovered the problem, surgery stopped the seizures right away. Read Milena's story

Brandi reduced her seizures from Rett syndrome with the ketogenic diet. Read Brandi's story

Kaden started having facial twitch seizures at age 5. Nine years later they turned into grand mal seizures occurring up to 10 times a day. A neurotransmitter device helped get his condition under control. Read Kaden's story

Parker's seizures from Doose syndrome significantly dropped after he started the ketogenic diet. Read Parker's story

Sadie reflects on how her challenging medical journey helped her grow as a person. Read Sadie's story

Trauma from a car accident at age 5 left Tom battling to recover from countless headaches and seizures. Lots of medical appointments and a therapeutic diet make his epilepsy more tolerable. Read Tom's story

UW Health electroencephalogram (EEG) technician Bailey Royston has epilepsy. When she thinks it will help, she shares her story with patients like Kolton, a teen frustrated that epilepsy prevented him from driving. Read Bailey and Kolton's story

Patient resources

You can learn more about epilepsy from these resources:

Locations

Where to find us

We offer specialized epilepsy care at UW Health clinics in Madison.

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  • University Hospital - Pediatric Epilepsy Clinic
    • 600 Highland Ave. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 890-6500
    • Closed now
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