Neurophysiology of Epilepsy Unit

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.

Read more about Dr. Inati

Sara K. Inati, M.D.
Head of Neurophysiology of Epilepsy Unit

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.

Lab Members:

NEU team

Selected Publications:


Li A, Huynh C, Fitzgerald Z, Cajigas I, Brusko D, Jagid J, Claudio AO, Kanner AM, Hopp J, Chen S, Haagensen J, Johnson E, Anderson W, Crone N, Inati S, Zaghloul KA, Bulacio J, Gonzalez-Martinez J, Sarma SV (2021)
Neural fragility as an EEG marker of the seizure onset zone.
Nat Neurosci, 24:1465-1474. PubMed ID: 34354282

Diamond JM, Diamond BE, Trotta MS, Dembny K, Inati SK, Zaghloul KA (2021)
Travelling waves reveal a dynamic seizure source in human focal epilepsy.
Brain, 144:1751-1763. PubMed ID: 33693588

Abdennadher M, Inati S, Soldatos A, Norato G, Baker EH, Thurm A, Bartolini L, Masvekar R, Theodore W, Bielekova B, Porter FD, Dang Do AN (2021)
Seizure phenotype in CLN3 disease and its relation to other neurologic outcome measures.
J Inherit Metab Dis, 44:1013-1020. PubMed ID: 33550636

Curtis D, Sham PC (1995)
A note on the application of the transmission disequilibrium test when a parent is missing.
Am J Hum Genet, 56:811-2. PubMed ID: PMC7887437


Rolinski R, You X, Gonzalez-Castillo J, Norato G, Reynolds RC, Inati SK, Theodore WH (2020)
Language lateralization from task-based and resting state functional MRI in patients with epilepsy.
Hum Brain Mapp, 41:3133-3146. PubMed ID: 32329951


Diamond JM, Chapeton JI, Theodore WH, Inati SK, Zaghloul KA (2019)
The seizure onset zone drives state-dependent epileptiform activity in susceptible brain regions.
Clin Neurophysiol, 130:1628-1641. PubMed ID: 31325676

Vaz AP, Inati SK, Brunel N, Zaghloul KA (2019)
Coupled ripple oscillations between the medial temporal lobe and neocortex retrieve human memory.
Science, 363:975-978. PubMed ID: 30819961

Rolinski R, Austermuehle A, Wiggs E, Agrawal S, Sepeta LN, Gaillard WD, Zaghloul KA, Inati SK, Theodore WH (2019)
Functional MRI and direct cortical stimulation: Prediction of postoperative language decline.
Epilepsia, 60:560-570. PubMed ID: 30740700

You X, Zachery AN, Fanto EJ, Norato G, Germeyan SC, Emery EJ, Sepeta LN, Berl MM, Black CL, Wiggs E, Zaghloul K, Inati SK, Gaillard WD, Theodore WH (2019)
fMRI prediction of naming change after adult temporal lobe epilepsy surgery: Activation matters.
Epilepsia, 60:527-538. PubMed ID: 30740666