Children’s Hospital, LHSC is one of two Regional Paediatric Epilepsy Surgical Centres in Ontario. Our Paediatric Epilepsy Program was expanded in 2015 and is led by Dr. Andrea Andrade, a Paediatric Epileptologist who has broad experience and training in the management of drug resistant epilepsies in childhood and paediatric epilepsy surgery. She joined as a faculty member of the Paediatric Neurology Division at Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry/ Western University in London Ontario in the same year, with the vision to develop a state of the art comprehensive program for children with epilepsy in the Southwestern Ontario region that would align with the current Ontario guidelines for epilepsy centres (CCSO guidelines).
As per 2018, the paediatric epilepsy program has grown significantly consisting of 2 full-time and 1 part-time paediatric epileptologists, a two bed paediatric epilepsy monitoring unit (PEMU), a comprehensive epilepsy clinic (CEC), and a paediatric epilepsy surgical program that works in close collaboration with Dr. Sandrine deRibaupierre (Paediatric epilepsy neurosurgeon). Additionally, a dedicated team of ancillary staff (R.N, N.P, EEG-techs, community educator, Registered Dietitian, child life specialist, and epilepsy coordinator) are committed to providing the best possible care to families and children with severe epilepsies.
The program's goal is to provide comprehensive, family centered care for children with severe epilepsies and to act as a Regional Centre of Excellence for epilepsy surgery as per the Ontario Ministry of Health designation. We strive to maintain and promote health through excellence in clinical practice, education and research, and by supporting, advocating for, and empowering our patient and their families.
We diagnose and manage approximately 300 new paediatric epilepsy cases per year at Children’s Hospital, LHSC. Within this number around 30 % of these children will become drug resistant. Drug resistant epilepsy is when a child will continue to have seizure activity despite trials of more than two well tolerated and well selected anti-seizure medications. These children range from newborns to adolescents, have diverse etiologies and require an increased level of care and support. Therefore, these children with drug resistant epilepsy are the ones seen within this paediatric epilepsy program.
We receive referrals for children with drug resistant epilepsy from paediatricians, family doctors, nurse practitioners and paediatric neurologists. After a state of the art evaluation, some of these children undergo curative epilepsy surgery, dietary treatments, specialized medication plans and/or the vagal nerve stimulator.