Comprehensive Epilepsy Program (CEP)
The CEP at Austin Health is a leading international epilepsy centre. Established in 1978, it was the first such centre to be created in Australia. Our multi-disciplinary team provides internationally-leading patient care, integrated with research. Staff include adult and paediatric neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, radiologists, nuclear medicine specialists, psychiatrists, nurses, EEG technicians, neurophysiologists, researchers and administrative staff.
We assess and treat people with new onset, and established epilepsy. We have special facilities for both adults and children. Outpatient services include a First Seizure Clinic for rapid diagnosis and treatment of new onset seizures, and an Epilepsy Clinic for ongoing care of patients with established epilepsy.
This will vary from patient to patient, and will vary based on whether the patient is an inpatient or and outpatient. We aim to minimize the time in hospital so any tests will be streamlined by our staff and where possible may be organised as an outpatient.
The inpatient facility provides intensive evaluation of children and adults with epilepsy.
There are two main reasons that you may be referred:
(1) To characterise attacks – not all attacks thought to be epileptic seizures are due to epilepsy, If attacks are due to epilepsy it can be very important to determine the exact type of seizures.
(2) To determine whether you are suitable for surgical treatment of epilepsy. This is only considered if seizures are not controlled by medication.
This will vary from patient to patient. We aim to minimise time in hospital so any tests will be streamlined by our staff and some may be organised as an outpatient. The information gathered is then discussed by our multi-disciplinary team to determine how best to treat your epilepsy.
Click here to find out more about the types of epilepsy investigations that may be conducted.
Seizure Surgery Follow-up and Rehabilitation Program
The Comprehensive Epilepsy Program has established a wide-ranging pre- and post-operative support program for patients who are considered for surgery.
Click here to see more information on the seizure surgery follow-up program.
How to be referred
Your doctor will need to send a referral to one of our neurologists who will determine whether inpatient evaluation is necessary. If so, your information will be passed on to the Epilepsy Liaison Nurse, Penny Kincade, or one of the Paediatric Liaison Nurses, Karen Stewart, Brialie Forster or Mary Price.
Further information and contacts
Epilepsy Liaison Nurse
To speak to the Epilepsy Liaison Nurse for more information about the inpatient Comprehensive Epilepsy Program please contact Penny Kincade:
Phone: +613 9496 5000 and ask for Penny to be paged, or +613 9496 5791 and leave a message
Mail: Penny Kincade | Comprehensive Epilepsy Program
Ward 6 North
Paediatrics Liaison Nurse
To speak to one of the Paediatrics Liaison Nurses for more information about the Children's Epilepsy Program please contact Brialie Forster, Karen Stewart or Mary Price by:
Phone: Call +613 9496 5000 and ask for Brialie Forster, Karen Stewart or Mary Price to be paged on 5515.
There are two clinics for people with epilepsy at Austin Health, managed by consultant epilepsy specialists.
The First Seizure Clinic is for those who have their first seizure. The second clinic, the Austin Epilepsy Clinic, is for people with epilepsy who require neurological review and further management. If their epilepsy is severe, they may be considered for evaluation for epilepsy surgery. This clinic has both paediatric and adult epilepsy specialists.
First Seizure Clinic
Experiencing a first seizure can be an alarming experience for both the patient and their families. We have established a First Seizure clinic to provide rapid assessment and treatment for adults and children over the age of 5 years with their first attack. A critical test is the EEG (electroencephalogram) and this should be done as soon as possible after the seizure.
How to be referred to the First Seizure Clinic
Your doctor or the Emergency Room doctor can refer you by calling the Neurology Registrar at Austin Health (9496 5000). If appropriate, the Registrar will arrange an urgent EEG. After the EEG, you will need to make an appointment at the clinic (normally within two weeks of the EEG). Information on how to make an appointment will be given to you at the time of the EEG.
The clinic is run on a Tuesday morning at the Melbourne Brain Centre, on the Austin Hospital campus, 245 Burgundy Street Heidelberg.
Austin Epilepsy Clinic
This is a multi-disciplinary clinic providing care for children and adults with epilepsy. We have access to special testing facilities and are frequently involved in implementing the latest treatment options.
How to be referred to the Austin Epilepsy Clinic
Your doctor can refer you to the Epilepsy clinic. Appointments for the adult clinic are made by telephoning outpatient bookings on 9496 2444. Appointments for the paediatric clinic with Professor Ingrid Scheffer are made by calling 9035 7344. No appointments can be made unless there is a referral from a GP or other treating physican.
The clinic is run on a Monday afternoon at the Austin Hospital campus, level 3, Outpatient Department, Clinic 2.
Surgical Treatment & Follow-up
Seizure Surgery Follow-up and Rehabilitation Program
Epilepsy surgery can be life changing. In recognition of the complex adjustment process that may accompany surgery, the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program has established a wide-ranging pre- and post-operative support program for patients undergoing surgery. Our program has been internationally recognised, and provides a range of multidisciplinary services. These include specialist medical and neuropsychological reviews, and psychosocial counselling which are routinely provided at regular intervals. This is complemented by phone follow-up from specialist nursing staff and psychology graduates.
Our outcome research program utilizes carefully monitored cohorts of patients who have undergone epilepsy surgery and those with new-onset epilepsy. We are interested in long term prognosis of epilepsy and factors that determine outcome. This work is closely linked to the neuro-cognitive group where we integrate outcome aspects in the cognitive and psychosocial domains. Our research has been published internationally, and is recognised for its long term and varied perspectives of outcome after surgery. Specific research areas have included:
adjustment issues after surgery in adults, adolescents and children
mood and sexual outcome of surgery
cognition and memory function
predictive models of outcome
psychosocial outcome after epilepsy surgery compared to other conditions (ie: narcolepsy and cardiac disease)
long-term seizure outcome after epilepsy surgery
risk factors for seizure recurrence after surgery
comparison of seizure outcome for types of epilepsy surgery
mortality after seizure surgery
Key People (Click on a person's name to email them)
Dr Marie O’Shea
Director Clinical Neuropsychology and Clinical Co-ordinator, Seizure Surgery & Rehabilitation program
Epilepsy Patient Care Co-ordinator
Dr Anne McIntosh
Co-ordinator, Long-term Follow-up