Epilepsy is a complex chronic disease that requires a personalized approach to treatment. Sima Indubhai Patel, MD, goes to battle for her patients, with the dedication to finding the right care that helps them achieve their life goals.
An epileptologist at MINCEP Epilepsy care/University of Minnesota Physicians in Saint Louis Park Clinic, Patel understands that chronic neurological disease affects her adult and pediatric patients in multifaceted ways, from physical to psychological. Patel works with a team of experts to pore over therapies for each person until they discover the best way to manage their chronic condition.
“There is not one formula, and you have to be an advocate for patients and their goals. We have a really good group here that focuses on comprehensive care for our patients with epilepsy and its effect on multiple domains of their life. We put in the energy needed to find the best solutions for their epilepsy care,” says Patel, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota, who completed an epileptology fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic.
Patel believes that her patients get the best epilepsy care from a team of clinic specialists, including epileptologist, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, pharmacists, nurses, advanced care providers, neuroradiologist and psychiatrist. Together, they ensure that patients have access to advanced technologies like continuous video EEG monitoring, epilepsy surgery treatment, including new advancements in brain devices for neuromodulation, and the latest seizure medications.
“There is not an algorithm for treating epilepsy. Everyone’s story is their own. That’s what makes it so complicated,” says Patel. “I’m always impressed with how hard our team works to provide individualized solutions for patients. We really put the patient first, they deserve this. That’s why I like to work here.”
For years, Patel has been engaged in research with Angela Birnbaum, PhD, a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology. Some of their studies investigate how special populations metabolize epilepsy drugs, including pregnant and menopausal women and seniors. Patel brings her rich clinical experience to the research and, in turn, provides opportunities for patients to get involved with clinical trials.
Patel has a special interest in women’s health. She especially enjoys guiding patients through healthy pregnancies, helping them manage their condition while caring for their baby, educating women on family planning while taking seizure medications, and advising women on the safe use of contraception with epilepsy medications. Patel has written book chapters, review articles, and helped develop the MINCEP/UMP clinic’s protocols for caring for pregnant women with epilepsy.
“I’m very passionate about women’s issues and getting women through a healthy pregnancy,” Patel says. “I love when they bring back their babies and share photos and stories. Being part of that journey is such a gift.”