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Richard Mattson, MD

Emeritus Faculty; Adjunct Professor of Nursing, Yale Nursing School

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Richard Mattson, MD

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Dr Mattson was born and raised in Connecticut, attended and received a BS degree from Yale University followed by his M.D. from Boston University. He did his neurology residency and a clinical neurophysiology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. While there he did research on interruption of the spread of epileptic seizures in an animal models and received an M.S. degree.

Following his formal training Dr. Mattson spent five more years with the USAF in San Antonio, TX. During that time he and his colleagues did the original studies on the effect of sleep deprivation on the occurrence of epileptic seizures and as an activating technique in EEG.

In 1967 Dr. Gilbert Glaser, M.D., Professor and Chair of Neurology, recruited him to the faculty at the Yale School of Medicine primarily to develop one of the world’s first Epilepsy Intensive Monitoring Units and they founded what is now known as the Yale Comprehensive Epilepsy Center.

His special area of interest increasingly turned toward antiepileptic drug therapy. He directed the two largest multi-center (VA Coop) studies that defined the effectiveness and adverse effects of the standard antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). He continues to be active in development and evaluation the new AEDs. For almost two decades Dr. Mattson directed the Yale/NIH Program Project that studied both clinical and basic aspects of epilepsy.

He has authored or co-authored more than 250 original papers, reviews and chapters most in the field of epilepsy and is co-editor of a number of books including the standard reference, Antiepileptic Drugs. He has been invited to speak throughout the world on the topic of epilepsy.

In addition Dr Mattson has been active in education and was former Vice Chairman for Academic Affairs in Neurology as well as Director of the Yale Neurology Residency Program and the founder and first Director of Clinical Neuroscience Education and Clerkship at Yale School of Medicine. He also for 20 years has chaired the J. Kiffin Penry Epilepy Minifellowships, the largest postgraduate Educational Epilepsy Program in the USA.

Dr Mattson has been the President of the American Epilepsy Society. He has been recognized with a number of prizes and awards including The William Lennox Award of the American Epilepsy Society, the Novartis/ILAE Epileptology Prize, The Hans Berger Award, The Clinical Investigator Award of American Epilepsy Society/Milken Family Foundation and the Hans Berger Distinguished Scholar Award He is recognized by Who’ Who in the World and Best Doctors in America.

Dr. Mattson continues to be active in teaching and clinical care of adults and children with epilepsy.

Education & Training

  • MS
    Mayo Medical School (Univ. of Minnesota), neurology (neurophysiology) (1962)
  • Fellow
    Mayo Clinic (1962)
  • Resident
    Mayo Clinic (1962)
  • MD
    Boston University (1957)
  • BS
    Yale College, Zoology (1953)

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