Naoum Issa, MD PhD

Assistant Professor
Director, Epilepsy Research

Patient Calls: 773-702-6222
Fax: 773-702-9076

A board-certified neurologist with sub-specialty training in epilepsy, Dr. Issa cares for general neurology patients with a special focus on patients with epilepsy. He works closely with patients to control their epilepsy – even epilepsy that is resistant to anti-seizure medications.

“We rarely have to resort to open surgery anymore to treat medication-resistant epilepsy. The University of Chicago has the broadest range of treatment approaches in the region, with new technologies like laser ablation (“Visualase”) and the responsive neural stimulator system (“Neuropace”) both available, as well as a ketogenic diet clinic, the vagal nerve stimulator system, and more. There are a lot of options.”

His research has focused on detecting and diagnosing neurologic disorders using painless, electrophysiological techniques. He and his coworkers are developing ways to identify seizure footprints in deep brain structures without having to implant electrodes, and have even extended the research to a method for diagnosing ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) using surface electrical measurements.

He has published over 30 scientific papers and book chapters, and is a scientific reviewer for many neurology and neuroscience journals. His work has appeared in journals such as Neurology, Neuron, Nature Protocols, Journal of Neuroscience, among others.

Dr. Issa received his MD and PhD in neuroscience at the University of Texas – Southwestern (Dallas) and carried out post-doctoral research at the University of California – San Francisco. His Neurology and Epilepsy subspecialty training was done at the University of Chicago.

He is a recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award, the L.D.H. Wood Pre-Clerkship Teaching Award at the Pritzker School of Medicine, and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. He has been a principal investigator, consultant or co-investigator on multiple funded research projects.

Board Certification
  • Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology
Clinical Interests
  • Neurology
  • Epilepsy
  • Dr. Issa is active in teaching epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology to the neurology residents.
Society Memberships
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • American Epilepsy Society
Selected Publications
  1. Issa, N.P. Neurobiology of CSWS and Landau-Kleffner Syndromes. Pediatric Neurology, 2014, 51:287-296.
  2. Issa, N.P., Fisher, W.G., Narayanan, J.T., QT interval prolongation in a patient with LQT2 on levetiracetam. Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy. 2015 29:134-136.
  3. Towle, V.L., Dai, Z., Zheng, W., Issa, N.P. Mapping Cortical Function with Event-Related Electrocorticography. Book chapter in Functional Mapping of the Cerebral Cortex. Editor: R.W. Byrne, M.D. Springer Publishing. 2016.
  4. Wu, S., Issa, N.P., Rose, S., Ali, A., Tao, J.X. Impact of periictal nurse interventions on postictal generalized EEG suppression in generalized convulsive seizures. Epilepsy & Behavior 2016 58:22-25.
  5. Wu, S., Tao, J.X., Issa, N.P., Rose, S., Warnke, P. MR-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy for the treatment of medically refractory epilepsy. Int J Neurol Neurother 2016 3:042.
  6. Frank, M.G., Issa, N.P., Stryker, M.P. Sleep enhances plasticity in the developing visual cortex. Neuron, 2001, 30:275-287.
  7. Rosenberg, A., Issa, N.P. The Y-cell visual pathway implements a demodulating nonlinearity. Neuron 2011 71:348-361.

For a full list of publications see: Naoum Issa Publications at PubMed