Jayant Acharya, MD

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    1993 …2021

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    Personal profile

    Research interests

    Dr. Jayant Acharya's research is focused mainly on epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology. His early publications addressed myoclonic epilepsies, especially rare, genetic forms such as progressive myoclonus epilepsy, and he received national and international awards. Later, he worked on other genetic aspects of epilepsy, including genetic linkage of familial epilepsies and pharmacogenetics.

    He also has written several articles and received awards for his research on clinical semiology and classification of seizures. He described a new type of seizure in infants and contributed significantly to the creation of an alternative seizure classification system.

    Other research interests include memory assessment prior to epilepsy surgery and pathophysiology of seizures and epilepsy. Dr. Acharya has multiple publications on the use of the Wada test and has been an investigator for a study comparing fMRI and the Wada test. He also has papers on the basic mechanisms of epileptogenesis, impairment of consciousness during seizures using functional neuroimaging (SPECT) and the role of serotonin in epilepsy.

    In the field of clinical neurophysiology, he has not only performed research on various aspects of EEG and video-EEG monitoring, but has also worked with national and international experts on creating and publishing EEG guidelines and an international glossary of EEG terms that are used to guide clinical practice all over the world. He also serves on journal editorial boards.

    More recently, he has been involved in multidisciplinary research on normalized transfer entropy to identify epileptogenic zones in patients undergoing stereo-EEG, changes in visual pathways in patients with epilepsy and brain-computer interface and network dynamics in patients evaluated in the epilepsy monitoring unit.

    Dr. Acharya has also served as principal investigator and co-investigator for several clinical trials related to new anti-seizure medicines and neurostimulation devices for epilepsy. 

    Teaching and educational interests

    Dr. Jayant Acharya has a longstanding interest in medical education. During his academic career, he has taught a variety of learners, from high school students to subspecialty neurologists, about several health care issues in a number of different settings, including one-on-one, bedside, small groups and formal lectures and presentations in classrooms or at national and international conferences.

    Although he adapts his teaching style to the type, size and needs of the audience, he maintains some core educational principles. His dominant teaching perspective is developmental. He feels that teaching should be an active and interactive process rather than passive transfer of knowledge. He starts with an assessment of the preexisting knowledge and skills of his learners, and then helps them develop more complex or critical ways of thinking. He creates new or enhanced understanding by changing not only the quantity of knowledge, but also the quality of their thinking. As an educator, he engages and challenges his learners and strives to instill in them the sense of discovery and excitement that he felt when he first entered the field of medicine and neurology.

    Dr. Acharya has received numerous educational awards at Penn State and has also been engaged in teaching at the national and international levels, serving on a number of committees focusing on education and professional development. During his tenure as member and chair of the AES Self-Assessment in Epilepsy committee, he was involved in writing and editing six volumes. He has also been part of national and international groups in creating EEG and epilepsy guidelines and glossaries. He has been an invited speaker and panelist at a number of regional, national and international conferences.

    Clinical interests

    Dr. Jayant Acharya’s clinical interests revolve around epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology. As the chief of the epilepsy division, director of the comprehensive epilepsy center and co-director of the clinical neurophysiology laboratory, he has been instrumental in developing and growing an epilepsy program that has Level 4 accreditation by the NAEC and has the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest-level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment, including medications, various surgical procedures, neurostimulation and dietary therapy.

    Along with a team of highly trained physicians, nurses and other health care professionals, Dr. Acharya provides care to patients ranging from those with a single seizure to the most complicated and medically resistant forms of epilepsy. Under his leadership, the EEG Lab has obtained accreditation by ABRET for both routine EEGs and long-term monitoring.

    Dr. Acharya is involved in clinical care both in the outpatient and inpatient settings. In the clinic, this includes medical management and use of neurostimulation devices such as VNS, RNS and DBS for epilepsy. He also performs numerous procedures including interpretation of routine, 24- to 72-hour ambulatory and quantitative EEGs and continuous video-EEG monitoring in critically ill patients. In a dedicated epilepsy monitoring unit, he provides noninvasive (diagnostic and presurgical) and invasive (stereo-EEG and subdural grids) inpatient video-EEG monitoring.

    Additional clinical services include cortical stimulation, functional mapping, intraoperative electrocorticography and the Wada test.

    Dr. Acharya is also interested in structural and functional neuroimaging for epilepsy and in advanced neurophysiological techniques, such as high-density EEG, source localization and electrical source imaging.

    The epilepsy center utilizes a team approach in planning surgery. The team meets twice monthly to discuss patients after their pre-surgical evaluation is completed by the epileptologists. All collected data is reviewed by a multidisciplinary group of experts and the treatment strategy is individualized.

    Professional information

    Board-certified in epilepsy, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, 2013

    Board-certified in sleep medicine, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, 2009 (recertified in 2019)

    Board-certified in neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, 2002 (recertified in 2012)

    Board-certified in clinical neurophysiology, American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology, 1996

    Fellow, American Academy of Neurology (FAAN)

    Fellow, American Clinical Neurophysiology Society (FACNS)

    Fellow, American Epilepsy Society (FAES)

    Fellow, American Neurological Association (FANA)

    Education/Academic qualification

    Neurology, Residency, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

    19982001

    Internship, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

    19971998

    Neurophysiology and Epilepsy, Fellowship (chief fellow, 1996-1997), Cleveland Clinic Foundation

    19941997

    Neurology, Residency, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences

    19871992

    DM, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences

    … → 1992

    MD, B.J. Medical College

    … → 1987

    Internal Medicine, Residency, B.J. Medical College

    19841986

    MBBS, B.J. Medical College

    … → 1984

    External positions

    Editorial Board Member, Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology

    2021 → …

    Member, Photosensitivity Task Force, Epilepsy Foundation International

    2020 → …

    Vice Chair, Educational and Professional Development Committee, American Epilepsy Society

    2018

    Chair, Self-Assessment Committee, American Epilepsy Society

    20162018

    Editorial Board Member, Clinical Neurophysiology Practice

    2016 → …

    Member, IFCN Glossary of EEG Terms Revision Group, International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology

    20162017

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