Neuromodulation and  Epilepsy Surgery

Overview

The Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital neurosurgery program for neuromodulation and epilepsy uses advanced neurotechnologies to restore hope and function to patients in the least invasive and most precise ways possible.

Our patient-customized treatment approaches include brain stimulation (such as Deep Brain Stimulation or DBS), where a specific neural circuit is stimulated to help restore its function and laser thermal ablation, in which a small disconnection is created to regulate hyperactive brain circuits and those circuits causing epilepsy, and gamma knife radiosurgery for intractable pain and psychiatric disorders.  In all of these cases, we believe the key to success is careful attention to an individual patient’s symptoms, neuroanatomy and neurocircuitry.

The neuromodulation and epilepsy program consists of three divisions, with each one composed of a multi-disciplinary team of clinicians focused on achieving a careful understanding of each patient’s condition and goals:

Movement Disorders

The movement disorders team evaluates patients in a comprehensive “fast track” clinic where those considering deep brain stimulation for diseases such as Parkinson’s, Essential Tremor and Dystonia can learn about their disease and explore their treatment options.  Decisions are made in a team-based manner, and clinicians from neurosurgery and neurology often work together even in the operating room to ensure optimal targeting for maximal patient benefit.

Epilepsy

Rhode Island Hospital is a Level 4 epilepsy center, offering the full array of the most advanced surgical options for patients with epilepsy.  These include high-density intracranial recordings for seizure focus identification, MRI-guided laser ablation of a seizure focus, and brain stimulation to reduce seizures.

Intractable Psychiatric Disorders

Brown University is a world-leader in the application of surgical techniques for severe, intractable psychiatric disorders such as debilitating and otherwise untreatable obsessive compulsive disorder.  A team of psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons and ethicists carefully consider patients who have failed all other treatments, to assess whether surgery might offer symptom relief and an improved quality of life.

Our Team

Director

Movement Disorders Fast Track Clinic Team

Neurologists
Umer Akbar, MD, Movement Disorders Specialist, Neurology
Joseph Friedman, MD, Director, Movement Disorders Center, Neurology

Neurosurgeon
Wael Asaad, MD, PhD, Director of Functional Neurosurgery and Neuromodulation

Neuropsychologist
Jennifer David, PhD

Physical therapists

Speech therapists

Swallow function specialist

Functional Neurosurgery & Neuromodulation Research Team
Shane Lee, PhD,Post-Doctoral Fellow, Neuroscience & Neurosurgery
Peter Lauro, MD/PhD Student, Neuroscience & Alpert Medical School
Adewole Oyalowo, PhD Student, Neuroscience
Erin Schaeffer, Research Assistant, Neuroscience & Neurosurgery
Daniel Amaya, MS student, Biotechnology

 

Epilepsy Team
Neurosurgery Department Team
Steven Toms, MD
Albert Telfeian, MD, PhD

 

Multidisciplinary Team
Epileptologists
Andrew Blum, MD, PhD, Director of Epilepsy Center, Neurology
Gina Deck, MD, Epileptologist, Neurology
Julie Roth, MD, Epileptologist, Neurology

Radiologists
Jerrold Boxerman, MD, Neuroradiologist, Radiology

Neuropsychologists
Geoffrey Tremont, PhD

 

Psychiatric Neurosurgery Committee
Neurosurgeons
Wael Asaad, MD, PhD, Director of Neuromodulation and Epilepsy Surgery

Psychiatrists from Butler Hospital and Brown University
Steven Rasmussen, MD, Chair of Psychiatry, Psychiatry
Benjamin Greenberg, MD, PhD, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry

Neuropsychologist
Nicole McLaughlin, PhD, Neuropsychologist, Psychiatry

Neurologists
Kenneth Rickler, MD, Neurologist, Neurology / Butler Hospital

Conditions We Treat

Movement Disorders

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Essential Tremor
  • Dystonia

 

Psychiatric Disorders

  • Intractable OCD
  • Intractable Depression (experimental)
  • Intractable Tourette’s Disease (experimental)
  • Alzheimer’s Disease (experimental)

Research

Neurosurgery Department

Other Labs

Technology

“Functional neurosurgery aims to restore quality of life to patients with a wide variety of chronic, debilitating neurological disorders.”

– Wael F. Asaad, MD, PhD

Rhode Island Hospital
Ambulatory Patient Center
(APC) 6
593 Eddy Street
Providence, RI 02903
401-793-9128
401-444-2661