University Hospital Bonn

location_on Bonn, Germany
9.5/10 from 150 Votes

Department of Adult and Pediatric Epileptology (286125)

Christian E. Elger

Prof. Dr. med.

Christian E. Elger

Specialized in: adult and pediatric epileptology

About the Department of Adult and Pediatric Epileptology at University Hospital Bonn

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The Department of Adult and Pediatric Epileptology at the University Hospital Bonn offers the full range of diagnostics and treatment for adults and children with epilepsy and other types of convulsive disorders. Special attention is paid to the surgical treatment of epilepsy. Together with the Department of Neurosurgery, the department forms one of the world's largest Centers for Epilepsy Surgery. The center has an impeccable reputation and regularly treats a large number of patients from both Germany and abroad. The Chief Physician of the department is Prof. Dr. med. Christian E. Elger.

The primary and most common treatment option for epilepsy is drug therapy. An important prerequisite for the prescription of an effective treatment regimen is an accurate diagnostics of the causes of epileptic syndrome. The department's doctors have at their disposal all the advanced options, which allow to determine the epileptic disorder with the best possible accuracy and prescribe an optimal treatment. If necessary, for example, in the development of side effects or the continuation of attacks, the department's specialists carry out an outpatient correction therapy.

If drug therapy does not allow to achieve the desired result, epilepsy may be treated surgically. Today, epilepsy surgery is a proven and recognized treatment option. The surgery to remove the pathological region in the brain is possible only in the case of focal epilepsy. Many special surgical techniques are available for the surgical treatment. The patients who cannot undergo surgery in order to remove tissues can receive palliative surgical treatment. After successful surgery, the patient must continue to take medicines for another 1-2 years. The further correction of drug therapy is carried out on an outpatient basis.

Other effective treatment methods include vagus nerve stimulation, deep brain stimulation, etc. For example, deep stimulation is indicated in severe types of epilepsy, when various medications do not allow for the desired reduction of seizures, and prompt treatment is not possible or has not led to the desired result.

The offered service range is complemented by alternative treatment strategies. These include, for example, a ketogenic diet, which has proven the effectiveness in treatment of children with severe forms of the disease. The department's specialists also offer psychotherapy services, which also help to reduce the frequency of seizures, but do not replace drug therapy. Thus, the department offers all the modern medical options, and it is also actively engaged in further improving of the methods used. The department ranks among the top German Epilepsy Centers.

The therapeutic range of the department includes:

Drug therapy


Epilepsy surgery

  • Preoperative epilepsy diagnostics
    • Video-EEG monitoring
    • MRI
    • PAT
    • Functional MRI
    • Invasive EEG
    • Neuropsychological examination methods
  • Surgeries to remove epileptogenic areas in the brain
  • Palliative surgery

Vagus nerve stimulation


Deep brain stimulation


Alternative treatment methods

  • Ketogenic diet
  • Ergotherapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Trainings on the self-control of epileptic seizures
  • Patient trainings

Other diagnostic and therapeutic options


Curriculum vitae of Prof. Dr. med. Christian E. Elger

Education and Professional Experience

  • 1969 - 1974 Study of Medicine in Muenster.
  • 1976 Doctoral thesis defense.
  • 1976 Approbation.
  • 1976 - 1982 Research Fellow at the Physiological Institute of the University of Muenster.
  • 1982 Habilitation in Physiology.
  • 1982 - 1985 Internship in Neurology, University of Muenster, Memphis, Zürich.
  • 1985 Board certification in Neurology.
  • 1985 - 1987 Senior Physician of the Department of Neurology at the University of Muenster.
  • 1986 Habilitation in Neurology.
  • 1986 - 1987 Board Member of the Westphalia-Lippe Chamber of Physicians.
  • 1987 - 1990 University Professor (C3) for Epileptology, University of Bonn.
  • 1990 - 2018 University Professor (C4) for Epileptology, University of Bonn. Director of the Department of Epileptology at the University Hospital Bonn.
  • 1991 - 1994 Member of the Advisory Board of the Federal Ministry of Health.
  • 1997 - 1999 1st Chairman of the German Section of the International League Against Epilepsy.
  • 2000 - 2001 President of the German Association of Clinical Neurophysiology.
  • Since 2000 Member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
  • Since 2001 Associate Editor: Epilepsy and Behavior.
  • 2001 - 2007 Speaker of the Transregional Collaborative Research Center SFB/TR3 "Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsies".
  • 2003 Co-Founder and Member of Life & Brain GmbH, Bonn.
  • 2004 - 2008 Associate Editor: Brain.
  • 2004 - 2008 Member of the Review Board for Neurosciences at the German Research Foundation.
  • 2006 - 2015 Scientific Director of Life & Brain GmbH, Bonn.
  • 2009 - 2016 Co-Founder and Director of the Center for Economics and Neuroscience, University of Bonn.
  • Since 2017 Senior Consultant for Neuropediatrics, Social Pediatric Center of the University Hospital Charité, Berlin.
  • Since 2017 Senior Consultant, Institute for Translational Neurology, University of Muenster.
  • Since 03/2018 Acting Director of the Department of Adult and Pediatric Epileptology at the University Hospital Bonn.
  • Since 03/2018 Medical Director and Managing Director of the Beta Neurology – Center of Competence for Epilepsy, Beta Clinic, Bonn.

Awards and Prizes

  • 1983 International Award of the Michael Foundation.
  • 1984, 1990 Alfred Hauptmann Award.
  • 1992 Marion Merell Dow Award for Epilepsy Research.
  • 1992 Honorary Member of the Swiss League Against Epilepsy.
  • 1997 Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP), Royal College of Physicians, London.
  • 2005 Ambassador for Epilepsy of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE).
  • 2005 Zuelch Award of the Gertrud Reemtsma Foundation in the Max Planck Society.
  • 2010 Hans Berger Prize of the German Society for Clinical Neurophysiology for Achievements in Epileptology.
  • 2011 Victor and Clara Soriano Award of the World Federation of Neurology.
  • 2012 European Epileptology Award of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE).
  • 2015 William G. Lennox Award of the American Epilepsy Society (AES).
  • 2017 Moritz Romberg Lecture of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN).
  • 2018 Kluver Memorial Lecture, University of Chicago Medical School.
  • 2018 Yaşargil Lecture, University Hospital Zürich

Photo of the doctor: (c) Universitätsklinikum Bonn 

Department of Adult and Pediatric Epileptology.
University Hospital Bonn:

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