Leon G Epstein

  • 14474 Citations
1971 …2020
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Personal profile

Research Interests

Dr. Epstein’s research interest is the study of the impact of viral infections on the developing nervous system. Currently we are investigating the role of Human Herpesvirus 6, and 7 (HHV-6 and HHV-7) as potential causes of hippocampal injury during febrile status epilpepticus (FSE). Dr. Epstein is the site PI and the study neurovirologist for the 15 year NINDS funded multicenter longitudinal FEBSTAT study of 200 children with FSE. To date we have found that HHV-6B is the most common cause of FSE in children accounting for nearly 30% of the infants that present with FSE. This longitudinal study will allow us to determine if FSE caused by HHV-6B or HHV-7 is more likely to result in mesial temporal sclerosis and temporal lobe seizures. Intractable temporal lobe seizures are the most common reason for epilepsy surgery in adolescents and young adults. If HHV-6B or HHV-7 prove to be responsible for hippocampal damage it is possible that the injury could be prevented by treatment with anti-viral or anti-infammatory medications at the time of presentation with FSE.

Dr. Epstein is a child neurologist who has over 30 years experience caring for pediatric patients with complex neurologic disorder. He has worked exclusively in major pediatric academic centers seeing patients in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. He has special interest in viral infections of the nervous system, auto-immune encephalitis, and migraine headaches. He frequently sees pediatric patients for additional neurologic consultation.

Certifications and Licenses

Child Neurology

Training Experience

1974Internship, Saint Joseph's Mercy, Ann Arbor
1976Residency, University of Arizona Health Science Center
1978Fellowship, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center

Education/Academic qualification

MD, Wayne State University School of Medicine

… → 1973


  • Infectious Diseases: Viral
  • Pediatric Neurology

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Research Output 1971 2018

12 Citations (Scopus)

An interdisciplinary response to contemporary concerns about brain death determination

Lewis, A., Bernat, J. L., Blosser, S., Bonnie, R. J., Epstein, L. G., Hutchins, J., Kirschen, M. P., Rubin, M., Russell, J. A., Sattin, J. A., Wijdicks, E. F. M. & Greer, D. M., Jan 1 2018, In : Neurology. 90, 9, p. 423-426 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brain Death
Nervous System
Quality Improvement
Practice Guidelines
1 Citation (Scopus)

Lawful physician-hastened death AAN position statement

Russell, J. A., Epstein, L. G., Bonnie, R. J., Conwit, R., Graf, W. D., Kirschen, M., Kurek, J. A., Larriviere, D. G., Pascuzzi, R. M., Rizzo, M., Sattin, J. A., Simmons, Z., Taylor, L., Tsou, A. & Williams, M. A., Jan 1 2018, In : Neurology. 90, 9, p. 420-422 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Assisted Suicide

Author response: The autism "epidemic": Ethical, legal, and social issues in a developmental spectrum disorder

Graf, W. D., Miller, G., Epstein, L. G. & Rapin, I., Sep 19 2017, In : Neurology. 89, 12, p. 1310-1311 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Autistic Disorder

Plasma cytokines associated with febrile status epilepticus in children: A potential biomarker for acute hippocampal injury.

Gallentine, WB., Shinnar, S., Hesdorfer, DC., Epstein, L., Nordli, DR., Lewis, DV., Frank, ML., Seinfeld, S., Shinnar, RC., Cornett, K., Binyl, L., Moshe, SL., Sun, S. & Team, FEBSTAT. I., Jun 2017, In : Epilepsia. 58, 6, p. 1102-1111 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

The autism epidemic Ethical, legal, and social issues in a developmental spectrum disorder

Graf, W. D., Miller, G., Epstein, L. G. & Rapin, I., Apr 4 2017, In : Neurology. 88, 14, p. 1371-1380 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Autistic Disorder
Bioethical Issues
Special Education
Social Responsibility