MGH Epilepsy Service First Seizure Clinic


The MGH Epilepsy Service First Seizure Clinic, established in 1999, offers rapid and complete expert evaluation of patients with new-onset seizures.

Why a First Seizure Clinic?

The modern approach to epilepsy relies heavily on electroclinical syndromic classification of individuals’ seizure disorders. Such an approach informs future decision making regarding therapeutic agents, prognosis, and appropriate intensity of follow-up. In modern practice, however, the syndromic approach is rarely applied to “first seizures”, in part, because patients seldom see epileptologists early in the course of their disease.

A Different Approach

The initial evaluation of first seizure patients may be inefficient due to the overuse of unnecessary tests such as CT scanning as well as the failure to optimize some tests that are performed such as MRI. Moreover, there are suggestions that the information yield of diagnostic testing, especially EEG, may be inversely proportional to the delay after an event in performing the test.

Early Evaluation

Early evaluation and testing may therefore allow more rapid optimization of treatment and improve patient satisfaction. In addition, the First Seizure Clinic is a unique resource for identifying patients early in the course of their illness who may be candidates for clinical trials of new diagnostic and treatment protocols.


Patients may be seen by either physician- or self-referral. Call 617-726-3311 and ask for an appointment in the First Seizure Clinic.

Our Nurse Coordinator will speak with you to determine whether evaluation in the First Seizure Clinic seems appropriate. In general patients can be seen within a few days and all necessary diagnostic testing can be arranged for the day of the visit.

Preparing for Your Appointment

Remember to bring copies of any medical records you have that relate to the event in question. It is also helpful to bring along a friend, co-worker, or family member who witnessed your event.