Epilepsy Program

Specialized care for epilepsy

Team members

  • Dr. D. Clarke, Neurosurgery
  • Dr. D. McNeely, Neurosurgery - Pediatrics
  • Dr. R. Mark Sadler, Neurology
  • Susan Rahey, Neurology (program coordinator)
  • Karen Legg, Neurology
  • Dr. A. Omisade, Neuropsychology
  • Dawnette Benedict-Thomas, Neuropsychology
  • Heather Smith, Social Work
  • Rachel Millet, Social Work
  • EEG technologists

Team collaborators

Divisions of Neurology, CDHA and IWKHC             
Neuroscience and Perioperative Nursing Staff
Biomedical Translational Imaging Centre Staff
Maritime Medical Genetics Service
Health Services Managers                                       
Biomedical Engineering
Sterile Processing

The Epilepsy Program is a collaborative service supported by the divisions of Neurology and Neurosurgery.

We offer people in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and select patients from Newfoundland timely access to a comprehensive epilepsy program, including investigational drugs and surgical techniques. We are working towards the expansion of our Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, including increased allocation of physician resources to the unit. We continue to search for innovative ways to improve all aspects of service.

Through our Epilepsy Program, patients referred from the Atlantic provinces have access to:

  • specialty outpatient clinics with support from Neuropsychology and Social Work
  • a two-bed inpatient Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (Phase I and Phase II studies)
  • state-of-the-art imaging techniques (3T MRI, PET and MEG)
  • a variety of surgical options, including cortical resection, lesionectomy, corpus callosotomy and vagus nerve stimulator implantation


Our team members are engaged in clinical and bench research, including drug trials, neuropsychological profile development, and novel brain stimulation and imaging techniques/modalities.


  • There were 46 admissions to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU). Included in that total were 4 admissions for invasive recording with subdural strips/grids, depth electrodes or a combination of the two. Epilepsy surgical procedures were performed on 16 patients and more than 1400 patients were assessed in the various outpatient epilepsy clinics.
  • The two students enrolled in our EEG Technology Training Program, along with a third student (graduate of La Cité collégiale, Ottawa, Ontario) continued studies to prepare them for the C.B.R.E.T., Inc examinations. 
  • Fundraising for the Neurosciences Project, “Brain-Spine-Spirit: The Neuroscience Alliance” has concluded. The project included expansion of our EMU from 2 to 4 beds.
  • Weekly epilepsy case conferences continue to be widely attended by team members along with colleagues from the IWK Health Centre and the MEG laboratory. Discussions of outpatient and EMU cases are augmented by a monthly journal club.
  • We continue to benefit from access to fMRI, PET, MEG and 3T MRI scanning for pre-surgical assessment.
  • Educational opportunities were made available to community groups, nursing, technical and medical students and staff and to colleagues attending various local, national and international meetings. The results of research projects were presented at national and international professional meetings.
  • Celebration of Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness on March 26 continues to be a high point of the year, with many staff and patients volunteering or attending our booth for purple cupcakes and education.
  • We continue to benefit from the enthusiasm and commitment brought to the program by Residents assigned to the Epilepsy Program.