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At CECNJ at Rutgers, in addition to our commitment to excellence in patient care, we conduct cutting-edge research to improve the quality of care for our current and future patients. These research efforts range from basic science laboratory research to translational and clinical research, aimed at advancing our understanding of the mechanisms of epilepsy and of human brain functions and at optimizing treatments. Our research efforts are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US Department of Defense, and the American Epilepsy Society (AES), making our program the most well-funded epilepsy program in the state of New Jersey.


Recent news/publications from our Rutgers CECNJ epilepsy team

A review article published by Dr. Boison and his co-author in Nature Reviews Neurology: (

A study by Dr. Nagahama and his co-authors published in Operative Neurosurgery and featured in Rutgers Today: (

A study by Dr. Nagahama et al. published in Neurosurgery and featured in Rutgers Today: (

A study by Dr. Kamitaki et al. published in Epilepsia and featured in Rutgers Today: (


Research Highlights
Dr. Boison
Dr. Sun (
Dr. Kamitaki (see below)


Research conducted by Dr. Kamitaki

Barriers to care for the approximately 100,000 people with epilepsy (PWE) in New Jersey (NJ) remain entrenched in our current healthcare system. Ongoing seizures limit quality of life for patients and raise risks of traumatic injury, cardiopulmonary dysfunction, and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. Once seizures persist under general neurology care, evidence-based guidelines recommend referral to a comprehensive epilepsy center. However, whether PWE enjoy equitable access to specialty epilepsy care is unclear. Prior studies have revealed clear racial and socioeconomic disparities affecting PWE in the United States. More rigorous work is needed to address obstacles to delivery of care for these patients.

To address these knowledge gaps, Dr. Kamitaki conduct a mixed-methods study that will identify specific barriers that PWE face in accessing care at comprehensive epilepsy centers, focusing on important and feasible solutions in NJ. Dr. Kamitaki first studies quantitative measures, specifically, seizure-related emergency department (ED) visits in NJ and other states (New York, Florida, and Wisconsin) to define a multi-state cohort of patients requiring frequent ED care for seizures. Dr. Kamitaki then examines which of these patients subsequently undergo elective admission to the inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU), a surrogate marker for the receipt of specialty epilepsy care. Dr. Kamitaki employs a mixed methods approach using group concept mapping, a participatory research process that democratizes the voices of multiple key stakeholders. Participants, including patients with epilepsy, family members and other caretakers, non-profit administrators, and clinicians involved in epilepsy care help to identify important and feasible solutions that promote the equitable delivery of epilepsy care in NJ.