Birgit Frauscher, MD, PhD

Birgit Frauscher, MD, PhD
Contact Information
Email address: 
birgit.frauscher [at]
Hospital title: 
Associate Professor of Neurology
Epilepsy Programme

Dr. Birgit Frauscher is an Austrian neurologist specializing in epilepsy and sleep medicine, who is an attending epileptologist and Associate Professor of Neurology at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University. She did her medical training, residency and subspecialisation at Innsbruck Medical University, and obtained her board certification in neurology in 2008. Dr. Frauscher has diplomas in EEG, EMG/NCV, and sleep. From 2013 to 2015, she was awarded a two-year Schrödinger fellowship to spend a visiting professorship at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University to specialize on intracranial EEG. Her clinical interest is in the management of people with therapy-refractory epilepsy, the interpretation of EEG including EMU, intracranial EEG, and polysomnography, and the differential diagnosis between sleep-related hypermotor epilepsy and parasomnias.

Dr. Frauscher’s research interest is in the development of novel seizure-independent EEG markers for the epileptogenic zone in order to achieve a more accurate diagnosis of epilepsy, and the investigation of the important interactions between sleep and epilepsy. She also researches the use of invasive intracranial EEG to study brain physiology during wakefulness and sleep in order to better delineate normal from abnormal intracranial EEG activity. She is the author of more than 130 peer-reviewed papers in the field of epilepsy and sleep. Her research was awarded with the European Young Investigator Award of the International League Against Epilepsy in 2018 and the Ernst-Nidermeyer Prize of the Austrian Epilepsy Society in 2015.

Selected publications: 

Frauscher B, von Ellenrieder N, Zelmann R, Rogers C, Nguyen DK, Kahane P, Dubeau F, Gotman J. High-frequency oscillations are common in eloquent cortical areas: region-specific normative values. Ann Neurol 2018 in press.

Frauscher B, von Ellenrieder N, Zelmann R, Dolezalova I, Minotti L, Olivier A, Hall J, Hoffmann D, Nguyen DK, Kahane P, Dubeau F, Gotman J. Atlas of the normal intracranial electroencephalogram: Neurophysiological awake activity in different cortical areas. Brain 2018;141:1130-44.

Frauscher B, von Ellenrieder N, Dubeau Francois, Gotman J. EEG Desynchronization during Phasic REM Sleep suppresses Interictal Epileptic Activity in Humans. Epilepsia 2016;57:879-88.

Frauscher B, Bernasconi N, Caldairou B, von Ellenrieder N, Bernasconi A, Gotman J, Dubeau F. Interictal hippocampal spiking influences the occurrence of hippocampal sleep spindles. Sleep 2015;38:1927-33.

Frauscher B, von Ellenrieder N, Ferrari-Marinho T, Avoli M, Dubeau F, Gotman J. Facilitation of epileptic activity is mediated by high amplitude slow waves. Brain 2015;138:1629-41.

Frauscher B, von Ellenrieder N, Dubeau F, Gotman J. Scalp spindles are associated with widespread intracranial activity with unexpectedly low synchrony. NeuroImage 2015;105:1-12.

Mitterling T, Högl B, Schoenwald SV, Hackner H, Gabelia D, Biermayr M, Frauscher B. Sleep and respiration in 100 healthy Caucasian sleepers: a polysomnographic study according to AASM standards. Sleep 2015;38:867-75.

Frauscher B, Gabelia D, Biermayr M, Stefani A, Hackner H, Mitterling T, Poewe W, Högl B. Validation of an integrated software for the detection of REM sleep behavior disorder. Sleep 2014,37:1663-71.

Frauscher B, Gabelia D, Mitterling T, Biermayr M, Bregler D, Ehrmann L, Ulmer H, Högl B. Motor events during healthy sleep: A quantitative polysomnographic study. Sleep 2014;37:736-73.

Frauscher B, Iranzo A, Gaig C, Gschliesser V, Guaita M, Raffelseder V, Ehrmann L, Sola N, Salamero M, Tolosa E, Poewe W, Santamaria J, Högl B for the SINBAR (Sleep Innsbruck Barcelona) group. Normative values during REM sleep for the diagnosis of REM sleep behavior disorder. Sleep 2012;35:835-47.

Research areas: 

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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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