Christianne Norton Heck, MD, MMM

Professor of Clinical Neurology

Co-Director, USC Center for Neurorestoration

Medical Director, USC Comprehensive Epilepsy Center

Director of Keck NeuroConnect, Keck Medical Center of USC

Vice Chair, Clinical Affairs

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Dr. Heck serves as the Medical Director of the USC Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the Keck Medical Center in Los Angeles. She served as Chief of Staff at Keck Hospitals of USC from 2015-2017, and serves as Co-Director for the USC Neurorestoration Center. She is board certified in both neurology and epilepsy. She is a member of the professional advisory board of the Epilepsy Foundation and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAECs). From 2011-12, she served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of the Epilepsies assisting in the writing of Epilepsy Across the Spectrum: Promoting Health and Understanding. She has been a member of the Association of California Neurologists Board of Directors, where she actively participated in opinions and discussions regarding patient care and access to care within the state of California. She volunteers regularly for Hollywood Health and Society of the USC Annenberg School of Communications Norman Lear Center whose goals are the promotion and evaluation of public health topics in film and television. Her research focuses on innovative approaches to treating epilepsy, including responsive neurostimulation and paradigms for optimizing neuromodulatory therapies, vagus nerve stimulation, epilepsy surgery and Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Her expertise also includes services to minority populations as well as furthering understanding of status epilepticus, neuronal injury, memory dysfunction, brain machine interfaces and the psychosocial impact of epilepsy. She is keenly interested in quality and access to care for epilepsy patients and families across the nation.


  • Beta-Band power modulation in the human amygdala differentiates between go/no-go responses in an arm reaching task J Neural Eng. 2024 Jul 03. . View in PubMed
  • Beta-band power classification of Go/No-go arm reaching responses in the human hippocampus J Neural Eng. 2024 Jun 24. . View in PubMed
  • Understanding the human conflict processing network: A review of the literature on direct neural recordings during performance of a modified stroop task Neurosci Res. 2024 Apr 04. . View in PubMed
  • Developing a hippocampal neural prosthetic to facilitate human memory encoding and recall of stimulus features and categories Front Comput Neurosci. 2024; 18:1263311. . View in PubMed
  • A review of neurophysiological effects and efficiency of waveform parameters in deep brain stimulation Clin Neurophysiol. 2023 08; 152:93-111. . View in PubMed
  • Altered adult neurogenesis and gliogenesis in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy Nat Neurosci. 2022 04; 25(4):493-503. . View in PubMed
  • Neuroanatomic Markers of Posttraumatic Epilepsy Based on MR Imaging and Machine Learning AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2022 03; 43(3):347-353. . View in PubMed
  • Corrigendum: Patterned hippocampal stimulation facilitates memory in patients with a history of head impact and/or brain injury Front Hum Neurosci. 2022; 16:1039221. . View in PubMed
  • Baseline hippocampal beta band power is lower in the presence of movement uncertainty J Neural Eng. 2022 07 22; 19(4). . View in PubMed
  • Patterned Hippocampal Stimulation Facilitates Memory in Patients With a History of Head Impact and/or Brain Injury Front Hum Neurosci. 2022; 16:933401. . View in PubMed
  • Gray Matter Atrophy: The Impacts of Resective Surgery and Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Drug-Resistant Epilepsy World Neurosurg. 2021 05; 149:e535-e545. . View in PubMed
  • A sparse multiscale nonlinear autoregressive model for seizure prediction J Neural Eng. 2021 02 26; 18(2). . View in PubMed
  • Real-world experience with direct brain-responsive neurostimulation for focal onset seizures Epilepsia. 2020 08; 61(8):1749-1757. . View in PubMed
  • Mesial temporal resection following long-term ambulatory intracranial EEG monitoring with a direct brain-responsive neurostimulation system Epilepsia. 2020 03; 61(3):408-420. . View in PubMed
  • Nine-year prospective efficacy and safety of brain-responsive neurostimulation for focal epilepsy Neurology. 2020 09 01; 95(9):e1244-e1256. . View in PubMed
  • Dual responsive neurostimulation implants for epilepsy J Neurosurg. 2019 Jan 25; 1-7. . View in PubMed
  • Epilepsy surgery in the underserved Hispanic population improves depression, anxiety, and quality of life Epilepsy Behav. 2018 06; 83:1-6. . View in PubMed
  • Radiosurgery versus open surgery for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy: The randomized, controlled ROSE trial Epilepsia. 2018 06; 59(6):1198-1207. . View in PubMed
  • Engineering Artificial Somatosensation Through Cortical Stimulation in Humans Front Syst Neurosci. 2018; 12:24. . View in PubMed
  • The Weekend Effect on Morbidity and Mortality Among Pediatric Epilepsy AdmissionsPediatr Neurol. 2017 Sep; 74:24-31. e1. . View in PubMed
  • Dysregulation of PINCH signaling in mesial temporal epilepsy J Clin Neurosci. 2017 Feb; 36:43-52. . View in PubMed
  • Preventable complications in epilepsy admissions: The “July effect” Epilepsy Res. 2017 11; 137:101-106. . View in PubMed
  • Brain-responsive neurostimulation in patients with medically intractable seizures arising from eloquent and other neocortical areas Epilepsia. 2017 06; 58(6):1005-1014. . View in PubMed
  • Brain-responsive neurostimulation in patients with medically intractable mesial temporal lobe epilepsy Epilepsia. 2017 06; 58(6):994-1004. . View in PubMed
  • Potentially preventable complications in epilepsy admissions: The “weekend effect” Epilepsy Behav. 2017 05; 70(Pt A):50-56. . View in PubMed
  • A sparse Laguerre-Volterra autoregressive model for seizure prediction in temporal lobe epilepsy Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2016 Aug; 2016:1664-1667. . View in PubMed
  • Hand Shape Representations in the Human Posterior Parietal Cortex J Neurosci. 2015 Nov 18; 35(46):15466-76. . View in PubMed
  • Neuromodulation in the Treatment of Epilepsy Curr Treat Options Neurol. 2015 Oct; 17(10):375. . View in PubMed
  • A Single-Center Experience with the NeuroPace RNS System: A Review of Techniques and Potential Problems World Neurosurg. 2015 Sep; 84(3):719-26. . View in PubMed
  • Lateralization of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with chronic ambulatory electrocorticography Epilepsia. 2015 Jun; 56(6):959-67. . View in PubMed
  • NeurophysiologyDecoding motor imagery from the posterior parietal cortex of a tetraplegic human. Science. 2015 May 22; 348(6237):906-10. . View in PubMed
  • An in vitro seizure model from human hippocampal slices using multi-electrode arrays J Neurosci Methods. 2015 Apr 15; 244:154-63. . View in PubMed
  • Long-term treatment with responsive brain stimulation in adults with refractory partial seizures Neurology. 2015 Feb 24; 84(8):810-7. . View in PubMed
  • A prospective long-term study of external trigeminal nerve stimulation for drug-resistant epilepsy Epilepsy Behav. 2015 Jan; 42:44-7. . View in PubMed
  • Two-year seizure reduction in adults with medically intractable partial onset epilepsy treated with responsive neurostimulation: final results of the RNS System Pivotal trial Epilepsia. 2014 Mar; 55(3):432-41. . View in PubMed
  • A testbed to explore the optimal electrical stimulation parameters for suppressing inter-ictal spikes in human hippocampal slices Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2014; 2014:5792-5. . View in PubMed
  • Unstable periodic orbits in human epileptic hippocampal slices Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2014; 2014:5800-3. . View in PubMed
  • Visual field defects after radiosurgery for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy Epilepsia. 2013 Aug; 54(8):1376-80. . View in PubMed
  • Randomized controlled trial of trigeminal nerve stimulation for drug-resistant epilepsy Neurology. 2013 Feb 26; 80(9):786-91. . View in PubMed
  • Role of the hippocampus in memory formation: restorative encoding memory integration neural device as a cognitive neural prosthesis IEEE Pulse. 2012 Sep-Oct; 3(5):17-22. . View in PubMed
  • Progesterone vs placebo therapy for women with epilepsy: A randomized clinical trial Neurology. 2012 Jun 12; 78(24):1959-66. . View in PubMed
  • Spatio-temporal inter-ictal activity recorded from human epileptic hippocampal slices Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2012; 2012:5166-9. . View in PubMed
  • Variation of seizure frequency with ovulatory status of menstrual cycles Epilepsia. 2011 Oct; 52(10):1843-8. . View in PubMed
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder in women with epilepsy: relationships to potential epileptic, antiepileptic drug, and reproductive endocrine factors Epilepsy Behav. 2011 Aug; 21(4):391-6. . View in PubMed
  • In vivo labeling and in vitro characterisation of central complex neurons involved in the control of sound production J Neurosci Methods. 2009 Oct 15; 183(2):202-12. . View in PubMed
  • Vagus nerve stimulation for epilepsy: is output current correlated with acute response? Acta Neurol Scand. 2007 Oct; 116(4):217-20.. View in PubMed
  • Vagus nerve stimulation for epilepsy: randomized comparison of three stimulation paradigms Neurology. 2005 Jul 26; 65(2):317-9. . View in PubMed
  • Vagus nerve stimulation therapy, epilepsy, and device parameters: scientific basis and recommendations for use Neurology. 2002 Sep 24; 59(6 Suppl 4):S31-7. . View in PubMed
  • Vagus nerve stimulation: analysis of device parameters in 154 patients during the long-term XE5 study Epilepsia. 2001 Aug; 42(8):1017-20. . View in PubMed
  • Prospective long-term study of vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of refractory seizures Epilepsia. 2000 Sep; 41(9):1195-200. . View in PubMed
  • Experience with vagus nerve stimulation for intractable epilepsy: some questions and answers Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo). 1999 Jul; 39(7):489-95. . View in PubMed
  • Serum neuron-specific enolase in the major subtypes of status epilepticus Neurology. 1999 Mar 10; 52(4):746-9. . View in PubMed
  • An institutional experience with cervical vagus nerve trunk stimulation for medically refractory epilepsy: rationale, technique, and outcome Neurosurgery. 1998 Dec; 43(6):1265-76; discussion 1276-80. . View in PubMed
  • Localization of ectopic corticotropin-producing carcinoid tumor with use of indium-111 pentetreotide scintigraphy Endocr Pract. 1998 Nov-Dec; 4(6):378-81. . View in PubMed
  • Status epilepticus increases CSF levels of neuron-specific enolase and alters the blood-brain barrier Neurology. 1998 May; 50(5):1388-91. . View in PubMed
  • Vagus nerve stimulation activates central nervous system structures in epileptic patients during PET H2(15)O blood flow imaging Neurosurgery. 1996 Aug; 39(2):426-30; discussion 430-1. . View in PubMed
  • Neuron-specific enolase, a marker of acute neuronal injury, is increased in complex partial status epilepticus Epilepsia. 1996 Jul; 37(7):606-9. . View in PubMed