Pubblicato il 14/06/2022

What is it?

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterised by recurrent epileptic seizures that may occur mainly in childhood or old age, although they can occur at any time of life.

The causes
The causes can be diverse, genetic or related to congenital or acquired brain injury.

Possible therapies
The treatment for epilepsy is mainly pharmacological, but in selected cases surgery may be proposed, which consists in removing the area of the brain from which the seizures originate. For patients who cannot be operated on, alternative therapies may be considered. The ISNB is a regional reference centre for the implantation of vagus nerve stimulators, a kind of pacemaker that can help reduce the number and intensity of seizures. In addition, thanks to the collaboration with the dieticians of the Azienda USL of Bologna, ISNB patients with particular forms of drug-resistant epilepsy can benefit from the ketogenic diet, a diet with a specific fat intake created specifically for each patient.

The Epilepsy Programme

At the ISNB, professionals involved in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with epilepsy are part of a multidisciplinary team working within a single specific programme, directed by Paolo Tinuper. The ISNB has two PDTAs (Diagnostic Therapeutic Treatment Pathways) for the care and treatment of epilepsy, one for adults and one for children. A dedicated outpatient clinic follows the patient's transition from developmental age, followed by the child neuropsychiatrist Antonella Pini, and the adult neurologist Carlotta Stipa.

Epilepsy surgery - The ISNB and Baggiovara Hospital, regional inter-company HUB centre for epilepsy surgery

Since 2018, the ISNB, together with the Baggiovara Hospital, has been the regional inter-agency reference centre for epilepsy surgery. Both sites contribute to the selection of cases for surgery together with the Adult and Developmental Epilepsy Centres of the regional health agencies in the region. The key facility for selecting suitable candidates for subsequent surgery is the Intensive Monitoring Unit for Epilepsy (UMIE) coordinated by Roberto Michelucci, where patients are admitted for study using modern technology.

Epilepsy and pregnancy

For women with epilepsy who wish to become pregnant, the ISNB provides a course of care that begins before conception and continues until breastfeeding, to optimise drug therapy in the pre-pregnancy period and monitor it in the subsequent stages. Since 2011, over 200 pregnancies have been followed, 30 in the last year alone. The clinic's work has contributed to the ISNB being awarded two pink dots by ONDA, the Women's Health Observatory. In addition, the ISNB has recently won a national tender promoted by the LICE Foundation (Italian League Against Epilepsy) for a funding of 40 thousand euros, with which it will start an observational study to define the pharmacological risk of therapies in pregnancy and the appropriateness of prescriptions compared to the current guidelines in Emilia-Romagna.




via Altura 3, Bologna
Pavilion G

Professionals dedicated to adult epilepsy

Francesca Bisulli, neurologist
Patrizia Avoni, neurologist
Federica Provini, neurologist
Laura Licchetta, neurologist
Barbara Mostacci, neurologist
Lidia Di Vito, neurologist
Veronica Menghi, neurologist
Carlotta Stipa, neurologist
Lorenzo Ferri, neurologist
Roberto Michelucci, neurologist
Lidia Volpi, neurologist
Patrizia Riguzzi, neurologist
Elena Pasini, neurologist
Lara Alvisi, neurophysiopathology technician
Cinzia Franceschini, neurophysiopathology technician
Rosaria Monfreda, neurophysiopathology technician
Raffaella Minardi, biologist
Roberto Poda, psychologist
Francesca Santoro, psychologist
Francesco Toni, neuroradiologist
Matteo Martinoni, neurosurgeon

Professionals dedicated to children's epilepsy

Margherita Santucci, Child Neuropsychiatry
Antonella Boni, Child Neuropsychiatry
Angelo Russo, Child Neuropsychiatry
Angelo Guerra, neurophysiopathology technician
Melissa Filippini, psychologist
Mino Zucchelli, neurosurgeon
Stefania Gamberini, nurse


ISNB's research activity focuses on surgical techniques capable of preventing progression to severe chronic epilepsies, but it is also particularly active in defining the role of genes in epilepsies of unknown cause and drug resistance. In 2018, the ISNB was also the winner of a Ministry of Health Finalised Research call, with research on status epilepticus , which is a major neurological emergency. In 2019, another call was won with a project on Telemedicine with internet devices for the innovative care of patients with epilepsy.
The ISNB Epilepsy Centre is also an EpiCARE centre, a European network for the diagnosis and treatment of rare and complex diseases.

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