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James W. Wheless, MD

  • Adjunct Faculty, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Professor and Chief of Pediatric Neurology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Le Bonheur Chair in Pediatric Neurology
  • Director, Le Bonheur Comprehensive Epilepsy Program
  • Director, Neuroscience Institute; Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital



BS – University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Pharmacy)
MD – University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Residency & Internship – University of Oklahoma, Tulsa, Oklahoma (Pediatrics)
Fellowship – Children’s Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois (Child Neurology)
Fellowship – Medical College of Georgia, Augusta (EEG/Epilepsy)

Selected Publications

Mastriani KS, Williams VC, Hulsey TC, Wheless JW, Maria BL.  Evidence-based versus reported epilepsy management practices.  J Child Neurol 2008 (in press).

Hovinga CA, Asato MR, Manjunath R, Wheless JW, Phelps SJ, Sheth RJ, Pina-Garza JE,  Zingaro WM, Haskins LS. Association of non-adherence to anti-epileptic drugs and seizures, quality of life, and productivity: survey of patients with epilepsy and physicians.  Epilepsy & Behav 2008 (in press).

Goldman AM, Wheless JW, Ishibashi H, Castillo E, Papanicoulaou, AC. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) displaces interictal epileptogenic activity in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy.  Epilepsia 2008 (in press).  

Wheless JW.  Levetiracetam in the Treatment of Childhood Epilepsy. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 2007; 3(4): 409-421.

Cramer JA, Gordon J, Schachter S, Devinsky O, Wheless JW and the Epilepsy Therapy Development Project Women’s Issues Work Group. Women With Epilepsy: Hormonal Issues from Menarche through Menopause. 2007.

O’Dell C, Wheless JW, Cloyd J. The personal and financial impact of repetitive or prolonged seizures on the patient and family. J Child Neurol22(5): 61S-70S, 2007.

Clarke DF, Wheless JW, Chacon, MM, Breier J, Koening M-K, McManis M, Castillo E., Baumgartner JE. Corpus callosotomy: A palliative therapeutic technique may help identify respectable epileptogenic foci seizure. 16: 545-553, 2007.

Kossoff EH, Pyzik PL, Rubenstein JE, Bergquist AGC, Buchhalter JR, Donner EJ, Nordli DR, Wheless JW. Combined ketogenic diet and vagus nerve stimulation: rational polytherapy? Epilepsia 48(1): 77-81, 2007.

AU K-S, Williams AT, Roach ES, Batchelor L, Sparogana S, Wheless JW,Baumgartner JE, Roa BB, Wilson C, Smith TK, Cheung M-YC, Whittemore VH, King TM, Northrup H. Genotype/Phenotype Correlation in 325 Individuals Referred For a Diagnosis of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex in the United States.Genetics in Medicine 9(2): 88-100, 2007.

Wheless JW, Ramsay RE, Collins SD. Vigabatrin. Neurotherapeutics 4(1): 163-172, 2007.

McGregor A, Wheless J. Pediatric Experience with sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP) at a tertiary epilepsy center. J Child Neurol 21(9): 782-787, 2006.

Wheless, J.W.  Intractable epilepsy: A survey of patients and caregivers.Epilepsy & Behavior 8: 756-764, 2006.

Cross JH, Jayakar P, Nordli D, Delalande O, Duchowny M,   Wieser HG, Guerrini R, Mathern GW, Wheless JW.  Proposed criteria for referral and evaluation of children for epilepsy surgery:  recommendations of the subcommission for pediatric epilepsy surgery. Epilepsia 47(6): 952-959, 2006.

Glauser TA, Ayala R, Elterman RD, Mitchell WG, Van Orman CB, Gauer LJ, Lu Z, Wheless JW; on behalf of the N159 Study Group. Double-blind placebo-controlled trial of adjunctive levetiracetam in pediatric partial seizures.Neurology 66: 1654-1660, 2006.

Ng Yt, McGregor AL, Duane DC, Jahnke HK, Bird CR, Wheless JW. Childhood Mesial Temporal Sclerosis. J Child Neurol 21 (6):512-517, 2006.

Wheless JW. Treatment of Idiopathic Generalized Epilepsies with Convulsive Seizures: An Evidence-based Medicine Approach. Epilepsy Network News 12 (1): 1–3, 2006. (

Phelps SJ, Wheless JW. Oxcarbazepine: A brief review. Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics 10 (4): 248-253, 2005.

Wheless JW, Clarke DF, Carpenter D. Treatment of Pediatric Epilepsy: Expert Opinion, 2005. J Child Neurol 20 (suppl. 1): S1–S60, 2005.

Baker G, Brandl U, Cross H, Holmes G, Plouin P, Sanmartini F, Vigevano F,Wheless J. Future in Mind Report: Critical Years Review. International Bureau For Epilepsy 2005 (

Witgert ME, Wheless JW, Breir JI. Frequency of panic symptoms in psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. Epilepsy Behav 6(2): 174-178, 2005.

Wheless JW. Clinical Trials In New-Onset Epilepsy. Adv Stud Med 5(3B): 5180-5184, 2005.

Wheless JW. Vagus nerve Stimulation in Pediatrics: Determining Appropriate Candidates. Advanced Studies in Medicine 5(5B): 5474-5476, 2005.

Breier JI, Castillo EM, Simos PG, Billingsley-Marshall RL, Pataraia E, Sarkari S,Wheless JW, Papanicolaou AC. Atypical language representation in patients with chronic seizure disorder and achievement deficits with magnetoencephalography. Epilepsia 46(4): 540-548, 2005.

Papanicolaou AC, Patarain E, Billingsley-Marshall R, Castillo EM, Wheless JW, Swwank P, Breier JI, Sarkari S, Simos PG. Toward the Substitution of Invasive Electroencephalography in Epilepsy surgery. J Clin Neurophysiol 22(4): 231-237, 2005.

McGregor A, Wheless J, Baumgartner J, Bettis D. Right-sided vagus nerve stimulation as a treatment for refractory epilepsy in humans. Epilepsia 46 (1):91-96, 2005.

Uthman BM, Miller GS, Montouris G, James SP, Anthony S, Wheless JW,and the Zonisamide 501 Study Group. Safety of 25- and 50-mg capsules in the initiation of Zonisamide therapy in patients with epilepsy: an uncontrolled, open-label study. Current Med Res and Opin 20(6): 837-842, 2004.

Wheless JW, Bourgeois BFD. Choosing antiepileptic drugs for developmentally normal children with specific epilepsy syndromes and behavioral disorders.J Child Neurol 19 (Suppl. 1): S39-S48, 2004.

Wheless JW. Nonpharmacologic treatment of the catastrophic epilepsies of childhood. Epilepsia 45 (Suppl. 4): 17-22, 2004.

Pataraia E, Simos PG, Castillo EM, Billingsley RL, Sarkari S, Wheless JW, Maggio V, Maggio W, Baumgartner JE, Swank PR, Breier JI, Papanicolaou AC. Does magnetoencephalography add to scalp video-EEG as a diagnostic tool in epilepsy surgery? Neurol 62: 943-948, 2004.

Wheless JW. Status epilepticus in children. Pediatric Annals 33(6): 377-383, 2004.

Papanicolaou AC, Simos PG, Castillo EM, Breier JI, Sarkari S, Pataraia E, Billingsley RL, Buchanan S, Wheless JW, Maggio V, Maggio WW. Magnetoencephalography: A non-invasive alternative to the Wada procedure.J Neurosurg 100: 867-876, 2004.

Castillo EM, Simos PG, Wheless JW, Baumgartner JE, Breier JI, Billingsley RL, Sarkari S, Fitzgerald ME, Papanicolaou AC. Integrating sensory and motor mapping in a comprehensive MEG protocol. Clinical validity and replicability.NeuroImage 21(3): 973-983, 2004.

Wheless JW, Neto W, Wang S, and the EPMN-105 Study Group. Topiramate, Carbamazepine, and Valproate Monotherapy: Double-Blind Comparison in Children with Newly Diagnosed Epilepsy. J Child Neurol 19(2): 135-141, 2004.

Wheless JW, Vazquez BR, Kanner AM, Ramsay RE, Morton L, Pellock JM. Rapid infusion with valproate sodium is well tolerated in subjects with epilepsy. Neurol 63: 1507-1508, 2004.

Wheless JW, Castillo E, Maggio V, Kim HL, Breier JI, Simos PG Papanicolaou AC. Magnetoencephalography and Magnetic Source Imaging. The Neurologist10(3): 1-16, 2004.

Ng Y, McGregor AL, Wheless JW. Magnetic resonance imaging detection of mesial temporal sclerosis in children. Pediatric Neurol 30: 81-85, 2004.

Leeflang EP, Marsh SE, Parrini E, Moro F, Dobyns WB, Guerrini R, Wheless JW, Gleeson JG. A patient with bilateral periventricular nodular hetertopia and polymicrogyria with a translocation t(1;6)(p12; p12.2) interrupting the mannosidase alpha, class 1A, (MAN1A2) and glutathione s-transferase A2 (GSTA2) genes. J Med Genetics 40(12): e 128, 2004.

Wheless JW, Baumgartner JE. Vagus nerve stimulation. Drugs of Today(Barc) 40(6): 501-515, 2004.

Last update: December 2010