Sylvain Rheims’ clinical activity

Head of Department of Functional Neurology and Epileptology

Hospices Civils de Lyon and Lyon 1 University, Lyon, France

I am Professor of Neurology at Lyon’s University Hospital.


After achieving to get the highest rank among the 5000 French medical students that take the annual national residency examination, I started my neurology residency in Lyon where I immediately devoted my career to epilepsy. Early in my residency, I spent three full years in a renowned basic research laboratory in Marseille (Ben-Ari’s lab) thanks to a prestigious INSERM grant. I then came back to clinic to finish his residency and perform an epilepsy fellowship. In 2015, at 36, I have been appointed head of Department of Functional Neurology and Epilepsy at the Neurological Hospital of Hospices Civils de Lyon. I have also been appointed as full professor of Neurology at University Claude Bernard Lyon-1 in September 2017. I coordinate in Lyon the French National Reference Center for Rare Epilepsies (CReER) and I am deeply involved in the European Reference Network for rare and complex epilepsies (EPICARE), especially in the field of epilepsy surgery and clinical trials.  


Hospices Civils de Lyon is the second largest teaching hospital in France and includes one of the major European Neurological hospitals (Hôpital Neurologique) with more than 300 beds devoted to Neurology. The HCL’s adult epilepsy department is composed of 10 neurologists, including me, 3 clinical fellow in epilepsy, 3 residents in neurology and 2 clinical research assistants. It includes facilities for outpatient visits and an epilepsy monitoring unit of 4 beds equipped with high-performance EEG signal amplifiers and recording system. The Human Brain Signal Platform of the CRNL, which I co-lead with Dr J. Jung (HCL), Dr O. Bertrand (INSERM) and Dr JP Lachaux (INSERM) is embedded within the Epilepsy Department.


Approximately 3500 adult patients with epilepsy are treated each year at the Epilepsy Department of Lyon’s University Hospital, including about 2000 who suffer from drug-resistant epilepsy. The Lyon’s epilepsy team runs one of the largest epilepsy surgery programs in France and in Europe, with over 100 surgical procedures including 30-35 intracranial EEG investigations and 20 VNS per year. 

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