Epilepsy and Sleep Research

Faculty in the Division of Epilepsy and Sleep conduct clinical, epidemiological, and basic science investigations as part of the research missions of the Columbia Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and Columbia Sleep Disorders Center.

Columbia Comprehensive Epilepsy Center

Areas of Research

  • Neurobiology of epilepsy and associated cognitive disorders
  • Sleep disorders and epilepsy 
  • Women's issues
  • Epilepsy clinical trials
  • Neural networks in epilepsy
  • Language localization in epilepsy surgery
  • Epilepsy genetics

Studies and Trials

There are several studies at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center that are currently enrolling patients:

Children's Language Study

Would your child like to contribute to science and help other kids? If so, please consider enrolling your child in a study to help create a new language test!

Participation involves interesting paper and pencil tasks and requires 1-3 visits, as some children will be randomly requested to participate in one month or one year follow-up visits. The first visit and one year visit lasts approximately 1 hour and your child will be paid $20 for each of these visits. The one month visit lasts approximately 10 minutes and your child will be paid $10 for this visit.

Parents will be paid $20 each visit for your time.

Location: Either Columbia University Irving Medical Center (transportation costs reimbursed) or YOUR HOME at your convenience.

Requirements: Your child must be a healthy, 6-15 year old native English speaker.

Please contact Alicia at (212) 305-1801 or aw2165@cumc.columbia.eduo to learn more about the study.

Older Adult Language Study

Are you age 56 or older? Would you like to help scientists learn about language?

The Epilepsy Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center is recruiting adults ages 56 and older to help create a new language test!
Participation involves interesting paper and pencil tasks and requires 1-3 visits, as some participants will be requested to participate in one month or one year follow-up visits. The first visit and one year follow up visit lasts approximately 2 hours and you will be paid $40 for each of these visits. The one month follow up visit lasts approximately 30 minutes and you will be paid $15 for this visit. If you provide travel receipts, your travel to CUIMC will be reimbursed up to $100.

Location: Columbia University Irving Medical Center OR in your home.

Requirements: Must be in good health (e.g. no neurological or psychiatric disorders). Must be age 56 or older.

Please contact Alicia at (212) 305-1801 or aw2165@cumc.columbia.edu if interested.

Columbia Sleep Disorders Center

Current research in the Columbia Sleep Disorders Center consists of studies on anticonvulsant drugs on the structure of sleep, and effects of a sleep agent on sleep in patients with epilepsy.

Areas of Research

  • Studies on anticonvulsant drugs on the structure of sleep
  • Effects of a sleep agent on sleep in patients with epilepsy
  • Pharmacology of sleep disorders
  • Impact of sleep disorders on neurological diseases
  • Relationship of sleep and neurodegenerative disorders
  • Sleep duration and development of dementia

Publications

Bazil CW.  Sleep and Epilepsy. Semin Neurol 2017 37:407-12.

Bazil CW, Dave J, Cole J, Stalvey J, Drake E. Pregabalin increases slow-wave sleep and may improve attention in patients with partial epilepsy and insomnia. Epilepsy & Behavior 2012; 23:422-5.

Xu X, Brandenburg NA, McDermott AM, Bazil CW. Sleep Disturbances Reported by Refractory Partial-Onset Epilepsy Patients Receiving Polytherapy. Epilepsia 2006; 47(7):1176-83.

Bazil CW, Battista J, Basner RC. Effects of levetiracetam on sleep in normal volunteers Epilepsy & Behavior 2005; 7(3):539-542.

Bazil CW, Battista J, Basner RC. Gabapentin improves sleep in the presence of alcohol. J Clin Sleep Med 2005; 1:284-7.

Bazil CW. Sleep disturbances in epilepsy patients. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 2005; 5:297-8.

Bazil CW. Nocturnal seizures. Seminars in Neurology 2004;24:293-300.

Bazil CW. Epilepsy and sleep disturbance. Epilepsy & Behavior 2003;4:S39-S45.

Bazil CW, Legros B, Kenny E. Sleep structure in patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. Epilepsy & Behavior 2003; 4(4):395-398.

Bazil CW. Effects of anticonvulsants on sleep structure: are all drugs equal? CNS Drugs 2003;17(10)719-728.

Bazil, CW. Sleep-related epilepsy. (2003) Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 3(2):167-172.

Legros B, Bazil CW. (2003) Effects of antiepileptic drugs on sleep architecture: A pilot study. Sleep Medicine 4(1):51-55.

Bazil CW (2002) Sleep and epilepsy. Seminars in Neurology 22:321-327. Bazil CW, Anderson CT (2001) Sleep structure following status epilepticus. Sleep Medicine 2:447-449.

Herman ST, Walczak TS, Bazil CW (2001) Distribution of partial seizures during the sleep-wake cycle: Differences by seizure onset site. Neurology 56: 1453-1458.

Bazil CW, Short DW, Crispin D, Zheng W (2000) Patients with intractable epilepsy have low melatonin, which increases following seizures. Neurology 55:1746-8.

Bazil CW (2000) Sleep and Epilepsy. Current Opinion in Neurology 13:171-5.

Bazil CW, Castro LHM, Walczak TS (2000) Reduction of rapid eye movement sleep by diurnal and nocturnal seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy. Arch Neurol 57:363-8.