Events & News


Our Epilepsy Star featured in our March 2022 issue, is Dr. Eric Segal

Dr. Segal is the Director of Pediatric Epilepsy at the Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group and is the co-Director of Epileptology at Hackensack Meridian Health. He has dedicated his life to helping children with epilepsy (and their families) through his medical knowledge, his research activities, and his community participation. Currently, he is on the Board of the Family Resource Network and the Northeast New York Epilepsy Foundation. His main research interests are in metabolic epilepsy and epilepsy surgery, and he regularly publishes in peer-reviewed journals on cutting edge epilepsy treatments (see below: Our epilepsy and seizures community including our patients, family, friends and doctors has been busy!).  But his dedication does not stop at the hospital and lab, in the past he ran and rode his bike for epilepsy (55 miles on the Twin Lights Ride) raising funds for Epilepsy Free and Epilepsy Services of New Jersey. For all these reasons, Dr. Segal is our March 2022 Epilepsy Star!

Tell us about your decision to study medicine. Tell us about why you became a pediatric epileptologist.

I arrived to the medical profession due to a deep desire to help others through science.  In high school, the entrance of the library had a quote from Walter Annenberg stating, "Strive to the highest quality of citizenship."  This statement has stayed with me all those years ago. 

As a medical student, I knew I wanted to work with children and their parents.  I always enjoyed the interactions with kids and, as a father of 5, I have a lot of empathy for what the parents are going through.  As for my decision to be a pediatric neurologist, it was the natural choice because I wanted to take care of patients with seizures.  Also, epilepsy has the most therapies in the neurological subspecialities, so as a pediatric epileptologist I feel I can be especially useful to my patients.  It is very exciting to be able to discuss both the pharmaceutical and non-pharmacologic options with patients and their families.  There is a tremendous satisfaction in improving quality of life through seizure management in children and their families.

What is your day-to-day life as a specialist in epilepsy? What are some highlights during the year?

My day begins typically with reading EEGs and speaking with families about their children.  I have the great pleasure of participating in clinical trials and look forward to offering new options that have completely different mechanisms of action to patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.  Depending on the day, I see patients in the hospital on rounds and/or see patients in one of our outpatient offices. Additionally, I work with teams of neurosurgeons, nurses, nurse practitioners, neuropsychologists, therapists, and other specialists to offer comprehensive epilepsy care.  We participate in weekly patient management conferences.  I love the high-quality collaborative work that comes out of this team-based approach. 

One of my highlights during the year is attending the American Epilepsy Society Meeting.  It is an opportunity to learn and share information regarding the newest diagnostics, therapeutics, and discuss clinical challenges that we encounter in the office and in the hospital. 

What are some of your main concerns in epilepsy and on how to help those who have been affected by epilepsy and seizures?

My main concerns are safety and independence.  It is very important that we strive to zero: zero seizures and zero side effects.  The other driver in my practice is avoiding delays in care.  I like to make sure we have multiple plans on stand-by that we can execute if the original plan is not working. 

As a pediatric epileptologist, what would you like to see in the future?

I would love to see better therapies for the behavioral and cognitive challenges that our patients encounter.  Most importantly, I would like to see a way to prevent epilepsy from occurring in the first place.

Is there anything else that we have not asked?

Great questions!  Thank you!


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