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Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes signals to be sent improperly from the brain. These confused signals cause seizures (involuntary sensations, movements or convulsions). Epilepsy can begin at any age and can be caused by brain damage or injury, abnormal development or an imbalance of chemicals in the brain.
Epilepsy is a disease where there is still a lot of misunderstanding. At the
Krembil Brain Institute, we know about the physical and emotional hardships that can come with this disease, and we know about its social consequences. Our goal is to work with community organizations so that patients are able to bridge their medical care with the necessary support needed to live life to the fullest.
We're working on new treatments to lessen the effect of seizures and improve quality of life. Ensuring patients get better treatment, also means improving our ability to diagnose patients. Our Comprehensive Epilepsy Genetics Program can help us diagnose and treat patients with epilepsy who have a family history or when patients have multiple neurological conditions.
Multiple treatment options are available at the Krembil Brain Institute. In addition to medication for epilepsy, we also offer surgical treatment for patients who are candidates. We also have Toronto's only adult
Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU). The EMU plays an important role in diagnosing the type of seizures a patient has and the area of the brain where they occur. This information can help your health care team decide if surgery is a treatment option for you.
Our centre is home to the province's first Gamma Knife – a non-invasive treatment also known as radiosurgery. Our doctors are reviewing it as a possible way of dealing with inaccessible brain tumours which may cause seizures.
The Krembil Brain Institute has pioneering Deep Brain Stimulation to deal with conditions such as Parkinson's disease and depression. So far, the research shows this treatment could also be an effective way of cutting down the number of epileptic seizures a patient might have.
Your first appointment can take one hour or more. Follow-up appointments usually take about 15 minutes to half an hour.
Learn more about
what you can expect when you have a clinic appointment.
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Visit our health information section.
Our team is focused on treating the medical aspects of epilepsy, but we understand that this condition can affect many aspects of life, from employment to living independently. In addition to providing expert medical care, we also try to connect patients with the social resources they may need.
Co-directors UHN Epilepsy Program
Dr. Taufik Valiante and
Dr. Danielle Andrade
Clinical Coordinator: Chari Anor, RN
Carol La Fleur, MSW RSW
Rosie Smith Director of Adult Services, Epilepsy Toronto
Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Mood for People Living with Epilepsy
Principle Investigator: David Gold, PhD, CPsychCo-Investigators: Carol La Fleur, MSW RSW and Mary Pat McAndrews, PhD, CPsychFor further information please call Carol La Fleur, MSW RSW at 416 603 7877 ext. 3191.
We are conducting a group CBT research study to try to better understand how we can help mood for people living with epilepsy.
In order to participate, we will need to conduct a brief interview. We will ask you some personal questions about your background, health and well-being.
The group will include 10 weekly group CBT sessions that last 90 minutes each, followed by booster sessions 1 month and 3 months after.
The study will take place at UHN – Toronto Western Hospital (399 Bathurst Street).
Study Participants will receive complementary materials for the CBT (i.e., provided with a manual and relevant readings).
Free online patient and caregiver education workshops will be offered through Toronto Western Hospital – Epilepsy Clinic. These workshops will be offered by doctors, nurse practitioners, mental health professionals, and community health partners. Workshops are available to patients with a diagnosis of Epilepsy, and their caregivers. Complete a registration form for
each workshop that you are interested in attending.
Our workshops will be held using Microsoft Teams. Teams is a free software that is secure, private, and confidential. There is no cost to you for using this software. For more information on using Microsoft Teams, please download a
printable version of our guide .
I am Carol La Fleur, Social Worker, and program coordinator for the Epilepsy Education Series. Thank you for attending or viewing these workshops and reading materials.
If you are interested in more information about a particular topic that has not been covered in this series, feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use this material for your information only. It does not replace advice from your doctor or other health care professional. Do not use this information for diagnosis or treatment. Ask your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.