Summer 2008

Editorial: Innovating in Response to Patient Need

John W. Engstrom, M.D., clinical chief of service in the Department of Neurology, discusses subspecialty developments, including the Pediatric Epilepsy Center and hospitalist program for inpatients with diseases of the nervous system.

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Pediatric Epilepsy Center Specializes in Monitoring, Early Surgery

Under the direction of Joseph Sullivan, M.D., the new center offers high-quality imaging, psychological evaluations, pharmaceutical treatments and surgery.

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Advanced Biomagnetic Imaging Enhances Treatment of Pediatric Epilepsy

UCSF's new, state-of-the-art, whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) machine surpasses more traditional forms of brain imaging to pinpoint the source of seizure activity in the brain more precisely, and to map out functional areas that are important to avoid during surgery.

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Teen Athlete Scores Victory with Epilepsy Surgery: A Case Study

LP, a 15-year-old high school athlete, experienced partial onset seizures that began with vertigo followed by leftward eye deviation, head turn to the left and left hand shaking, with some retained consciousness. An MEG examination and surgery, followed by postoperative monitoring by video EEG telemetry, led to a tapering of her medication, regained concentration and a significant rise in her grade-point average. She now has a driver's license, plays varsity soccer, and has begun rock and ice climbing.

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Pediatric Epileptologist Drawn to Most Difficult Cases

Joseph Sullivan, M.D., who became director of the UCSF Pediatric Epilepsy Center in 2007, is profiled in this issue. Before joining the UCSF faculty, Sullivan spent two years at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where he specialized in evaluating and treating children with refractory epilepsy that won't respond to medications. His primary area of research is in the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify areas in the brain that control language in children with epilepsy.

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Gamma Knife Perfexion Treatment Begins at UCSF Medical Center

The newly acquired Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion is now fully operational in the Gamma Knife Radiosurgery Program at UCSF Medical Center. In addition to shortening the time for procedures and eliminating uncomfortable positions for patients, the enhanced equipment allows physicians to treat a wider range of sites, including the brain, head and neck.

CME Courses

See information on upcoming continuing medical education courses.

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Physician Liaison Service

The UCSF Physician Liaison Service provides assistance and information to referring physicians, medical groups and health plans. Please call the Physician Liaison Service or visit

Phone: (800) 444-2559
Fax: (415) 353-4395

Transfer Center

The UCSF Transfer Center is open 24 hours daily to coordinate the transfer of your patients to UCSF Medical Center from hospitals throughout the region.

Phone: (415) 353-9166
Fax: (415) 353-9172