Kate Davis, MD, MSTR: Referring Patients to An Epileptologist

November 1, 2018

The epileptologist discussed this challenge, and shared her thoughts on how to maintain this communication.

“The place where super-specialists, like an epileptologist in a university setting, can play the most impactful role is if neurologists in the community refer patients that fit into that drug-resistant epilepsy group.”

Often, patients with epilepsy will fail to respond to a number of therapies intent on helping control their seizure activity, known as drug-resistant or refractory epilepsy. Current estimates place the number of patients with this form of the condition between 80,000 and 160,000—roughly 20% to 40% of all patients with epilepsy.

Many of these patients may already be seeing a specialist, but many of them will need to face the challenge of failing therapy prior to being referred to an epileptologist, making their assessment by a general neurologist or a primary care physician all the more essential.

Kate Davis, MD, MSTR, is an epileptologist and assistant professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, and she is all too familiar with this group of patients. In order to ensure they get the care they need, the relationship between a specialist like herself and the general neurology community is incredibly important.

At the American Neurological Association’s 143rd annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, Davis sat with NeurologyLive to discuss this challenge, and to share her thoughts on how to maintain this communication.