Cornelia N. Drees, M.D., investigates ways to improve the quality and safety of surgical care for people with epilepsy. She has been a member of the Mayo Clinic staff since January 2021. Prior to this appointment, she was director of epilepsy surgery and associate chief of the epilepsy division at the University of Colorado Denver.
Dr. Drees' specialty areas include medical and surgical care of adults with epilepsy. She is director of intraoperative monitoring. Specific research interests involve intracranial monitoring, neuromodulation devices, and outcomes after epilepsy surgery. She enjoys teaching and sharing what she's learned.
- Epilepsy surgery outcomes especially pertaining to implantation of neuromodulation and neurostimulation devices. Dr. Drees has participated in multicenter trials testing the efficacy of responsive neurostimulation on different types of epilepsy.
- Neurostimulation and efficacy of different types of intracranial electrodes and stimulation parameters. Dr. Drees has worked within multicenter trials to evaluate the effectiveness of using different intracranial electrodes, including depth and grid electrodes, and varying stimulation settings.
- Treatment options and approaches when surgical interventions fail to cure epilepsy. Dr. Drees has investigated the effects of drug-resistant epilepsy on all aspects of people's lives. With a team of neuropalliative care professionals at the University of Colorado Denver, she has explored the possibilities for providing supportive-palliative care for people with epilepsy.
- Brain monitoring devices and stimulation paradigms perioperatively. Dr. Drees is interested in evaluating brain monitoring for surgical procedures that pose a potential risk to brain function. Monitoring can serve as an early alert system for medical providers to prevent brain or nervous system injury.
Significance to patient care
Epilepsy surgery is considered for about a third of patients with epilepsy who have developed drug-resistant seizures. The development and advancement of neurostimulation devices has changed the field by offering options beyond removal of brain areas to resect a seizure focus. Neurostimulation and neuromodulation devices are complementing existing surgical therapies and need to be further improved to provide the best seizure control possible.
Neuromonitoring during surgeries, specifically brain monitoring, and postoperative monitoring are used during procedures that could put the brain at risk. These procedures include neurosurgery and cardiac surgery. Such neuromonitoring techniques provide an early warning system that allows surgical teams to take steps as needed to prevent irreversible brain injury related to surgical procedures.