The Neuro a recognized worldwide leader in epilepsy research and treatment

Each year, about 3,000 patients receive in- and out-patient service at The Neuro’s Epilepsy Clinic 

In the 1930s - Neuro founder, Dr. Wilder Penfield and his colleagues developed a surgical treatment for epilepsy patients known as the “Montreal Procedure,” which today is in use throughout the world. 

The Neuro became a pioneer in studying epilepsy through the use of electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). 

The Neuro’s Epilepsy Program employs a multi-disciplinary team of epileptologists, neurosurgeons, nurses, neuropsychologists, neuropsychiatrists, social workers, EEG technologists, nurse clinicians, and case managers.  

What is epilepsy? 

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by sudden, brief discharges in the brain, expressed as a seizure.  

Epilepsy is a result of different causes: malformations during brain development, a head injury that causes scarring to the brain tissue, high fever and prolonged convulsions during early childhood, trauma at birth, a stroke or tumour. 

One out of three patients cannot control seizures solely by using available medications. For these patients, surgical removal of the brain tissue causing seizures is the only known effective treatment for controlling seizures and improving quality of life. 

Seizures can be triggered by outside events such as strobe lights, or by a person’s state of health---fatigue, illness, hunger, emotional stress.   

Epilepsy Key Facts - source World Health Organisation 

Disorders of the nervous system are the leading cause of DALYs (Disability-adjusted life years*) and the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for 9 million deaths per year. The five largest contributors of neurological DALYs are  

  • stroke (42.2%),  

  • migraine (16.3%),  

  • dementia (10.4%),  

  • meningitis (7.9%) and  

  • epilepsy (4.9%) 

* One DALY represents the loss of the equivalent of one year of full health 

  • Around 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases globally. 

  • Nearly 80% of people with epilepsy live in low- and middle-income countries. 

  • It is estimated that up to 70% of people living with epilepsy could live seizure-free if properly diagnosed and treated. 

  • The risk of premature death in people with epilepsy is up to three times higher than for the general population. 

  • Three quarters of people with epilepsy living in low-income countries do not get the treatment they need. 

  • In many parts of the world, people with epilepsy and their families suffer from stigma and discrimination. 



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The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



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