History

The 1960s

The Yale Epilepsy Center began about 40 years ago (1969) and was one of the very first such centers in the world. Dr. Gilbert Glaser, Chairman at Yale, recruited Dr. Richard Mattson in 1967 to join the faculty and develop a clinical epilepsy program to complement an ongoing basic science research activity.

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The 1970s

In 1972 the Veterans Administration formally designated West Haven as an Epilepsy Center along with the Durham VA associated with Duke University under the leadership of Dr. Antonio Delguado-Escueta. Other centers were later initiated throughout the country at Dallas, UCLA, Madison (Wisconsin), Minneapolis and Seattle.

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The 1980s

Throughout this decade Dr. Williamson, as well as Dr. Susan Spencer and others on the team, reported the semiology of multiple partial seizure types based on site of origin and in particular helped define complex partial seizures of frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital origin. Drs. Susan and Dennis Spencer and colleagues also assembled experience with corpus callosotomy and defined both the benefits and risks.

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The 1990s

In 1992 Dr. Peter Williamson was recruited to Dartmouth College, his alma mater, to start an epilepsy center and Dr. John Ebersole was appointed to take his position as Director of the epilepsy unit at the VA. Dr. Williamson's third fellow, Dr. Vijay Thadani, who wrote important seizure semiology papers with Dr. Williamson (as had the previous fellows) went to Dartmouth with Dr. Williamson.

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The 2000s

Other epilepsy fellows including Drs. Ami Katz, James Thompson, David Tkeshalashvili, and Evan Fertig (recently worked with Dr. Fuki Hisama to identify a new genetic mutation in a family with autosomal dominant auditory temporal lobe epilepsy) stayed on the faculty temporarily to help the program for a few years before entering private practice.

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