The overall objective of the Neurophysiology of Epilepsy Unit is to improve the evaluation and treatment of patients with drug resistant focal epilepsy through advancing the understanding of the pathophysiology of epilepsy. We use neurophysiologic and neuroimaging techniques to localize epileptic foci and to better identify and understand seizure networks through independent and collaborative research efforts. Our noninvasive epilepsy imaging protocol provides a unique standardized multimodal dataset from patients undergoing evaluation for epilepsy surgery at the NIH Clinical Center, including structural and functional neuroimaging, magnetoencephalography and electroencephalographic recordings. The NIH Clinical Center provides unique opportunities to collaborate with other intramural and extramural investigators to develop novel biomarkers to improve the outcomes of targeted interventions in this patient population.
Dr. Sara Inati is the Head of the newly established Neurophysiology of Epilepsy Unit. She previously served as the Chief of the EEG Section and Director of the Epilepsy Service for the NINDS Office of the Clinical Director from 2011-2021. She completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard College and went on to receive her M.D. with honors from Dartmouth Medical School in 2003. She subsequently completed her medical internship at Lenox Hill Hospital, and her residency training in neurology at the Neurological Institute at Columbia University Medical Center. She continued on for two years of fellowship training in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at the Columbia Comprehensive Epilepsy Center.
Dr. Inati is board certified in Neurology with added qualifications in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology. She joined the NIH in 2010 as Staff Clinician with the NINDS neurology consult service then joined the EEG Section the following year. She served as the Chief of the EEG Section and Epilepsy Service until April 2021, when she became an Assistant Clinical Investigator. She continues to be involved in the activities of the Epilepsy Service, providing support to intramural NIH investigators from all institutes and centers for evaluation and care of patients with epilepsy, as well as clinical neurophysiological testing such as routine and extended EEG monitoring, evoked potentials, and intraoperative monitoring. She serves as the Program Director for the NCC/NIH Epilepsy Fellowship Program. Her research interests have developed from her clinical practice, using neurophysiologic recordings and neuroimaging to identify seizure foci and improve our understanding of how seizure activity spreads throughout the brain, with the goal of improving targeted interventions in drug resistant focal epilepsy to achieve better seizure and cognitive outcomes.