Epilepsy and movement disorders

The Epilepsy and Movement Disorders group brings together patients, clinicians, therapeutic options and cutting edge diagnostics to study and treat childhood epilepsy, dystonia and cerebral palsy.

Epilepsy is a condition of recurrent seizures, and is the most common serious neurological disorder affecting children. Epilepsy is due to brief electrical changes in the brain, resulting in the child experiencing a seizure. There are hundreds of causes of epilepsy so investigating it is complex. Our group is made up of clinicians and lab researchers from the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN) and the University of Sydney as well as collaborators and contributors from allied research institutes and Westmead Hospital.

Our group has played major collaborative roles in the discovery of new genes that cause epilepsy, been instrumental in the development of an epilepsy gene panel (testing for 260 epilepsy genes) at the hospital, and has led description of immune system’s role in epilepsy. The Epilepsy Group also houses the first stereo-EEG service for children in Australia and this is seamlessly integrated with existing and novel neurosurgical treatments for epilepsy.

Movement disorders in children typically involve unwanted and involuntary extra and purposeless movements that affect the ability to perform daily tasks, fine motor activities and walk. Our team anchors the only dedicated service for clinical care and research into childhood movement disorders that include very common disorders like Tourette’s syndrome and cerebral palsy as well as “first of a kind” rare genetic disorders.

Our team also works collaboratively with the comprehensive Kids Rehab service at The Children’s hospital at Westmead, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick and Westmead Hospital in offering comprehensive therapy options for children with dystonia. The Movement Disorder Group is the only dedicated service assessing and providing paediatric deep brain stimulation that can be life saving and life changing for some children with dystonia.

The Epilepsy and Movement Disorders Group work in collaboration with the TY Nelson Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, which is a world leading clinical service looking after children with epilepsy and movement disorders.

The group is co-lead by Clinical Associate Professor Deepak Gill (Epilepsy) and Dr Shekeeb Mohammad (Movement disorders) and includes a number of key people.

Did you know?

1,350 families benefited from our diagnostic tests in 2016. Each test costs Kids Neuroscience Centre $100 and is done free-of-charge. That adds up to be a lot of money.

Photo of a smiling child sitting by a window