Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

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Innovations in Neurology & Neurosurgery | Winter 2022

Guadalupe Fernandez-Baca Vaca, MD UH Epilepsy CenterGuadalupe Fernandez-Baca Vaca, MD
Hans Otto Luders, MD, PhD - UH EpilepsyHans Otto Lüders, MD, PhD

The University Hospitals Epilepsy Center is recognized as a National Association of Epilepsy Centers Tier 4 treatment center, the highest designation for epilepsy care. With a focus on excelling epilepsy care through innovative clinical and surgical techniques, leaders also work tirelessly to educate the next generation of epilepsy physicians at a national and international level. 

Founded by Hans Otto Lüders, MD, PhD, the center is directed by Guadalupe Fernandez-Baca Vaca, MD. An Associate Professor of Neurology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Dr. Fernandez-Baca Vaca has trained and worked at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center since 2009. She is focused on advancing epilepsy surgery, education and clinical research and has a special interest in Ictal semiology and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit safety.

A legacy of epilepsy innovation

UH Epilepsy Center group image University Hospitals Epilepsy Center with Hans Otto Luders, MD pictured center.

The Epilepsy Center at University Hospitals is well known for investigating and developing novel treatments for patients with refractory epilepsy. In 2009, Dr. Lüders, Jonathan Miller, MD, Philip Fasteneau, PhD, and the late Robert Maciunas, MD, developed the first program in the country to use multiple hippocampal transections, a novel and effective procedure that disrupts seizure propagation within the hippocampus without impairing verbal memory. This technique has helped numerous patients with refractory temporal lobe epilepsy.

Naiara Losarcos-Garcia, MD Neurology EpilepsyNaiara Garcia Losarcos, MD

Last year, the Epilepsy Center advanced this technique by performing minimally invasive, multiple hippocampal transections using radiofrequency. The procedure can be completed bedside, with the patient awake and resting comfortably. Naiara Garcia Losarcos, MD, was the primary author detailing the innovative methodology in the October 2021 issue of The Educational Journal of the International League Against Epilepsy.

Physician education

The Epilepsy Center has committed extraordinary efforts to the education of physicians. Since 2007, Dr. Lüders has developed the International Epilepsy Course at University Hospitals and School of Medicine, designed to instruct participants in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology core competencies.

Jun Park, MDJun Park, MD

Directed by Jun Park, MD, the intensive, eight-week EEG and Epilepsy Course is held twice annually. Participants include national and international epileptologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroengineers, EEG technologists and epilepsy nurses. “Through the years, the course has resulted in an unprecedented network of alumni who are driven by a similar purpose to improve outcomes for individuals living with epilepsy,” Dr. Fernandez-Baca Vaca says.

For a detailed course description, click here.

Epilepsy Colloquium

The UH Epilepsy Center and School of Medicine are pleased to announce the 15th International Epilepsy Colloquium (IEC), scheduled May 1-4, 2023, in Cleveland, Ohio. The IEC represents an international joint initiative from epilepsy centers that started in 2008, bringing together the most eminent experts in the field of epilepsy.

15th INTERNATIONAL EPILEPSY COURSE

Comprehensive Epilepsy Course | May 1-2, 2023

15th International Epilepsy Colloquium: Semiology of Epileptic Seizures | May 3-5, 2023

Presented by: University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Epilepsy fellowship

A national leader in clinical epilepsy research, the University Hospitals Epilepsy Fellowship Program, directed by Jonathan Zande, MD, produces highly skilled epileptologists who emerge as experts in the management of refractory epilepsy, surgical epilepsy and stereotactic EEG.

Jon Zande, MDJonathan Zande, MD

Bolstered by the international Epilepsy and EEG Course, the one-year program accepts five physicians each year. Fellows receive in-depth didactic and clinical education into electroencephalography, seizure management, interoperative monitoring, and management of refractory cases with epilepsy surgery.

“Our Fellows are encouraged to exercise autonomy in decision-making, with strong backing from a dedicated clinical staff committed to education and research,” Dr. Zande says.

An epileptologist at University Hospitals and an Assistant Professor at School of Medicine, he is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Dr. Zande completed his internship, Neurology residency and Epilepsy fellowship at University Hospitals and School of Medicine prior to joining the faculty in 2019.

New faculty

In 2021, two new faculty members – both trained at University Hospitals – joined the UH Epilepsy Center:

Neel Fotedar, MD, is a Neurologist at University Hospitals and an Assistant Professor of Neurology at School of Medicine. He completed his medical education at Government Medical College, Jammu, India.

Neel Fotedar, MD Neurology EpilepsyNeel Fotedar, MD

During his residency at University Hospitals and School of Medicine, he served as chief resident for the neurology program and won multiple awards, including the Willard A Bernbaum award for Intern of the Year. He has presented multiple abstracts and posters at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Neurological Association (ANA) national meetings and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

His current clinical and research interests include the role of polygraphic recording in motor seizures and other movement disorders such as myoclonus, cortical stimulation and mapping, epilepsy genetics, and the overlap between movement disorders and epilepsy.

Luisa Londono-Hurtado, MD, is a Neurologist at University Hospitals and an Assistant Professor of Neurology at School of Medicine. Dr. Londono-Hurtado was born in Medellin, Colombia. There, she graduated from CES University and completed her Neurology Residency in affiliation with the Neurological Institute of Colombia and developed her passion for clinical neurophysiology and caring for patients with epilepsy.

Luisa Londono, MD Neurology EpilepsyLuisa Londono-Hurtado, MD

In 2014, Dr. Londono-Hurtado attended the international epilepsy course at University Hospitals and the School of Medicine, where she went on to complete her clinical and research fellowship training in Epilepsy/Clinical Neurophysiology. She joined the faculty in 2021. Her interests include seizure semiology, epilepsy surgery and neuroimaging.

Karlee Hanchin, APRN, CNP Epilepsy CenterKarlee Hanchin, APRN, CNP

Supporting Staff:  Karlee Hanchin APRN CNP

Karlee Hanchin is a Nurse Practitioner in the Epilepsy Center at University Hospitals. She originally attended the University of Akron where she completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. While working on a neuroscience and trauma unit, she completed her Master of Science in Nursing with focus in family practice. Karlee is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and licensed in Ohio. She has completed additional training in epilepsy through the International EEG/Epilepsy course at University Hospitals and works closely with the epileptologists. Karlee provides medical management for adults, primarily in the outpatient setting, at the epilepsy clinic. She is an active member of the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurse and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Outside of work, Karlee enjoys spending time with her two young children and husband, trying new restaurants, spending time outdoors, and traveling.

For more information, contact Dr. Guadalupe Fernandez-Baca Vaca at Guadalupe.FernandezBacaVaca@UHhospitals.org or 216-844-9023.

Contributing Expert:
Guadalupe Fernandez-Baca Vaca, MD
Director of the University Hospitals Epilepsy Center
University Hospitals Neurological Institute
Associate Professor
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

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