Epilepsy care and COVID-19

Dr. James Wheless, MD, Co-Director of the Le Bonheur Comprehensive Epilepsy Program discusses how sleep deprivation due to stress and anxiety over the pandemic can trigger an increase in breakthrough seizure frequency, intensity, and length.  He offers tips for talking to patients about the importance of sleep health, the importance of epilepsy action plans, the role of rescue medications to manage overall health and limit hospital visits, and how telehealth consultations lend themselves especially well to reviewing proactive epilepsy care plans with patients and caregivers.

Dr. JamesWheless, MD, FAAP, FACP, FAAN, FAES, is a professor and the chief of pediatric neurology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He also serves as the co-director of the Neuroscience Institute’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Wheless specializes in epilepsy, tuberous sclerosis complex, and dravet syndrome. With more than 30 years of experience as a pediatric neurologist, Dr. Wheless has dedicated his career to helping develop new medicines, treatments, and surgical modalities for patients who suffer from epilepsy and other uncontrolled seizure disorders. He has been recognized as one of the best doctors in America by the U.S. News & World Report and was named as one of America’s TopPediatricians by Consumers’ Research Council of America in 2008. Dr. Whelessobtained his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of Oklahoma Tulsa MedicalCollege.  Dr.Wheless also serves on the boards of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), the International Epilepsy Consortium National Tuberous Sclerosis Association, The Charlie Foundation to Help Cure Pediatric Epilepsy and Epilepsy.com.

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