Dr. James Wheless: February 6, 2020


At least 3.4+ Million Live with Epilepsy in the U.S.2

National Neurology Expert Offers Immediate Steps to Mitigate Deadly Risks, Reduce Related Healthcare Costs and Burden

Dr. James Wheless

Professor and Chief of Pediatric Neurology, Le Bonheur Chair in Pediatric Neurology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center


Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that is characterized by seizures.3 Seizures can be debilitating and even life threatening.4 Just one convulsive seizure is a potentially shattering event that increases the risk of significant health consequences, including physical injury and cognitive decline.5,6,7 Although epilepsy is widely recognized, few understand it – even those who know someone with the disorder.1 And this misunderstanding causes stigma that makes it harder to treat,1 while the number of adults and children challenged by epilepsy in the U.S. is increasing.2

Freedom from seizures is the ultimate goal in epilepsy treatment.8 Yet missed doses are a common occurrence that can get in the way of achieving it. For most people with this condition, it’s a question of when, not if they will miss a dose of their medication. In fact, 71% of epilepsy patients surveyed have missed at least 1 dose.And, almost 50% report that a missed dose of medication was followed by a subsequent seizure.Poor seizure control means a higher likelihood of emergency room visits and greater healthcare costs.10 Yet many with epilepsy may be reluctant to discuss their struggles even with their doctor.11


Dr. James Wheless, Professor and Chief of Pediatric Neurology, Le Bonheur Chair in Pediatric Neurology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center will help educate your viewers about epilepsy, including the crucial role of individual lifestyle in treatment, and advances in epilepsy management that will help people living with epilepsy achieve seizure freedom.


More information can be found at www.epilapsey.com


More About Dr. James Wheless

Dr. Wheless is Professor and Chief of Pediatric Neurology and the Le Bonheur Chair in Pediatric Neurology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. He also serves as Director of the Neuroscience Institute and the Le Bonheur Comprehensive Epilepsy Program for the Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.


Dr. Wheless is a paid consultant on behalf of Eisai Inc.



  1. Herrmann LK, et al. Epilepsy misconceptions and stigma reduction: Current status in Western Countries. Epilepsy Behav. 2016;60:165-173.
  2. Zack MM, Kobau R. National and State Estimates of the Numbers of Adults and Children with Active Epilepsy — United States, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66:821–825.
  3. Institute of Medicine Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of the Epilepsies. Summary.  Epilepsy Across the Spectrum: Promoting Health and Understanding. England MJ, Liverman CT, Schultz AM, Strawbridge LM, editors. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2012.
  4. Harden C, et al. Practice Guideline Summary: Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy Incidence Rates and Risk Factors:  Report of the Guideline Development, Dissemination, and Implementation Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society. Epilepsy Currents. 2015;17(3):180-187.
  5. Friedman DE, et al. Recurrent seizure-related injuries in people with epilepsy at a tertiary epilepsy center: A 2-year longitudinal study. Epilepsy Behav. 2010;19(3):400-404.
  6. Thompson PJ, Duncan JS. Cognitive decline in severe epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2005;45(11):1780-1787.
  7. Berg AT, et al. Mortality risks in new-onset childhood epilepsy. Pediatrics. 2013;132(1):124-131
  8. St. Louis, EK. Minimizing AED Adverse Effects: Improving Quality of Life in the Interictal State in Epilepsy Care. Current Neuropharmacol. 2009;7:106-114.
  9. Cramer JA, Glassman M, Rienzi V. The relationship between poor medication compliance and seizures. Epilepsy Behav. 2002;3:338-342.
  10. Divino V, Petrilla AA, Bollu V, et al. Clinical and economic burden of breakthrough seizures. Epilepsy Behav. 2015;51:40-47.
  11. Buelow J, Miller W, Fishman J. Development of an Epilepsy Nursing Communication Tool: Improving the Quality of Interactions Between Nurses and Patients with Seizures. Jour of Neurosci Nurs. 2018;50(2):74-80.

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