Our Comprehensive Epilepsy Program

Freedom from seizures and/or side effects is possible for many patients through drug therapy or minimally invasive surgery. When seizures cannot be controlled with medication alone, Newport Neurospecialists group offers the latest techniques in surgical intervention.

Our mission is to improve each patient’s overall quality of life by providing quality care tailored to individual needs. Our Epilepsy Program offers comprehensive treatment through a patient centered, integrated approach.

Determining the Cause of Seizures

One person in 26 will develop epilepsy over their lifetime. One in ten will experience a seizure over the lifetime. For those who have suffered their first seizure, it is MISSION CRITICAL to determine whether you are likely to have future seizures. For those with a diagnosis of epilepsy or “seizure disorder,” it is MISSION CRITICAL to determine the cause of seizures and the most appropriate treatment, which may include medications, diet, neurostimulation or surgery.

All patients with recurrent seizures should be evaluated by an epilepsy specialist or epileptologist such as Dr. David Millett in order to maximize their chances of becoming free of seizures and medication side effects.

Treatment Options

For approximately two-thirds of patients with epilepsy or a seizure disorder, seizures can be controlled with an anticonvulsant medications. For the remaining one-third of patient who suffer from disabling seizures despite medications, there are a number of highly effective treatment options.

Identifying the most effective treatment options begins with:

  • a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation
  • a complete medical history
  • neurological examination
  • neuroimaging (MRI) and EEG study.
  • anticonvulsant medications and/or dietary therapy

Patients who continue to suffer from disabling seizures despite initial therapy, however, often require a more advanced diagnostic evaluation. This may include video-EEG monitoring, functional neuroimaging (such as PET, SPECT or MEG) and occasionally invasive video-EEG monitoring with electrodes placed directly over or into suspected areas of seizure origin within the brain. Once the focus or network of seizure activity is localized, seizures can often be eliminated by removing the source or seizures such as a scar (sclerosis), brain malformation or tumor. If surgical removal or ablation of the abnormal tissue cannot be safely performed, implanted neurostimulators can detect the electrical onset of seizures, and deliver an electrical current designed to terminate the seizure or reduce its severity and duration.


“I found hope at Hoag.”

“I was seeing 15 different specialists. I basically quit them all, and I just see Dr. Millett,” Kristy says. “He somehow knew everything that was wrong with me, and he works with you. He never said, ‘Let me try to fix you.’ His approach is, ‘Let’s see what you want, what you’re willing to take,’ and he started from there.”

Krristy Mandigo

“Dr. Millett is a rock star. From our first appointment, he went right to work. He knew everything about me, my vagus nerve stimulator, my medications, he got me scheduled for scans and different procedures to get me moving in the right direction.”

Bryce Hodding

“My memory and naming ability are awesome now,” she said. “My husband said from the moment I woke up from surgery, ‘The old Tiffany is back.’ Dr. Millett and Dr. Liu are phenomenal. I am so I am so grateful for the help they’ve given me.”

Tiffany Mueller


David Millet, MD

David Millett is a passionate epileptologist who has established two epilepsy programs over the past 9 years in Southern California. After completing fellowship training in EEG and Epilepsy in 2007, he joined the faculty at USC and created an epilepsy monitoring unit at Rancho Los Amigos for Los Angeles County to provide advanced diagnostic care and treatment for hundreds of underserved patients with severe epilepsy.  

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Vivek Mehta, MD

Vivek Mehta is a Neurosurgeon and member of the Hoag Epilepsy Surgery Program at the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute. He has particular expertise in complex and minimally invasive brain and spine surgery.  Prior to joining Hoag, He was on staff at the University of Southern California as an attending neurosurgery at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurosurgery at the USC Keck School of Medicine.

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James D. Park, D.O.

James Park is a board-certified neurologist and epileptologist – who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of seizures. He brings that passion and expertise to the Hoag Epilepsy Program, where he works to provide the most comprehensive and compassionate care for the patients of Orange County.

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Charles Liu, PhD, MD

Charles Liu has been an integral member of the neurosurgery team at the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute since 2014. He currently serves as the Surgical Director of the Hoag Comprehensive Epilepsy Program.

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