Zahra Sadat-Hossieny, MD, is a board-certified neurologist who completed her fellowship in clinical epilepsy at Stanford University Hospitals and Clinics. She finished her residency in neurology at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. She obtained her medical degree and a certificate in global health from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

She has extensive experience treating patients with epilepsy and currently provides care through the Comprehensive Epilepsy and Comprehensive Neurology Programs at Stanford Health Care. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Sadat-Hossieny also teaches future generations of clinicians as an assistant professor at Stanford School of Medicine in the Department of Neurology, Epilepsy, and Comprehensive Neurology.

Dr. Sadat-Hossieny has authored several peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. She has presented her research orally and through posters at various conferences. During her fellowship at Stanford University Hospitals and Clinics, she used advanced diagnostic techniques including video-EEG monitoring, computerized brainwave mapping, diagnostic imaging, neuropsychiatric testing, and functional mapping to accurately diagnose epilepsy and conditions imitating epilepsy. She also gained expertise in the most advanced forms of epilepsy treatment including neuromodulation, epilepsy surgery and medications specific to epilepsy. Her research focused on the cognitive effects of anti-seizure medications on patients with epilepsy and their children. She has also published on the importance of nutrient supplementation on cognition in patients taking anti-seizure medications. Her collaborations include projects that assess and improve patients’ understanding of their own seizure types.

Clinical Focus

  • Neurology

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Clinical Instructor, Stanford University Hospitals & Clinics (2019 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Chief Fellow, Stanford University Epilepsy Fellowship
  • Chief of Resident Education, The Ohio State University, Neurology Department
  • J. Kiffen Penry Epilepsy Education Conference Grant Recipient, The Ohio State University
  • Robyn D. Howson Housestaff Humanism Award, The Ohio State University
  • David Kotlarek Award for Excellence in Compassionate Patient Care, The Ohio State University
  • Resident Advisory Committee, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
  • Barley International Summer Scholar, George Washington University
  • Honors Scholar, University of Cincinnati
  • Cincinnatus Scholar, University of Cincinnati
  • Darwin T. Turner Achiever’s Scholar, University of Cincinnati

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Neurology (2020)
  • Fellowship: Stanford University Epilepsy Fellowship (2019) CA
  • Residency: Ohio State University Neurology Residency (2017) OH
  • M.D., The George Washington University School of Medicine (2013)
  • Internship: Riverside Methodist Hospital (2014) OH
  • Neurology Residency, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (2017)
  • Medical Education: George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (2013) DC
  • Epilepsy Fellowship, Stanford University Hospitals & Clinics (2019)

All Publications

  • Folate fortification of food: Insufficient for women with epilepsy. Epilepsy & behavior : E&B Sadat-Hossieny, Z. n., Robalino, C. P., Pennell, P. B., Cohen, M. J., Loring, D. W., May, R. C., Block, T. n., Swiatlo, T. n., Meador, K. J. 2021; 117: 107688


    Folic acid supplementation during the periconceptual period has been shown to improve cognitive outcomes in children of women with epilepsy taking anti-seizure medications (ASMs). The dose of folic acid necessary to provide positive cognitive outcomes is unclear. In many countries including the United States, food is fortified with folic acid, but no data exist on how food fortification may affect cognition in children with fetal-ASM exposure. This study evaluated the effect of dietary folate from natural folates plus folic acid fortification, separate from folic acid vitamin supplements, on age-6 year IQ in children with fetal-ASM exposure.Data from the Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (NEAD) study were retrospectively analyzed for this investigation. Assessment of nutrient intake was conducted using the Block Food Frequency Questionnaire-98. The primary outcome of the present study was to assess association of maternal prepregnancy nutrient levels to child age-6 IQ.Folate from food alone without supplement was not associated with improvement of age-6 IQ in children with fetal ASM exposure (95% CI: -11.7-2.3, p = 0.187). Periconceptual folate supplement use was associated with a 10.1-point higher age-6 IQ (95% CI: 5.2-15.0, p < .001). Total combined folate from food plus supplement also showed that higher intake of folate was associated with higher age-6 IQ (Coefficient: 4.5, 95% CI: 2.0-6.9, p < .001). Six other nutrients from food and supplements were analyzed (Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Omega 3, Gamma Tocopherol, and Vitamin B12) and had no significant association with age 6-IQ.Dietary content of folate, even in a country where food is fortified with folic acid, is not sufficient to provide improved cognitive outcomes for children of women taking ASMs during pregnancy. Folate supplementation is needed for significant improvement in cognitive outcomes, specifically age-6 IQ.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.yebeh.2020.107688

    View details for PubMedID 33636531

  • Effects of antiepileptic drugs on cognition Post-traumatic Epilepsy Meador , K., Sadat-Hossieny, Z. 2021: 169-179
  • Cognitive disorders in epilepsy II: Clinical targets, indications and selection of test instruments. Seizure Helmstaedter, C., Sadat-Hossieny, Z., Kanner, A. M., Meador, K. J. 2020


    This is the second of two narrative reviews on cognitive disorders in epilepsy (companion manuscript: Cognitive disorders in epilepsy I: Clinical experience, real-world evidence and recommendations). Its focus is on the clinical targets, indications, and the selection of neuropsychological test instruments. Cognitive assessment has become an essential tool for the diagnosis and outcome control in the clinical management of epilepsy. The diagnostics of basic and higher brain functions can provide valuable information on lateralized and localized brain dysfunctions associated with epilepsy, its underlying pathologies and treatment. In addition to the detection or verification of deficits, neuropsychology reveals the patient's cognitive strengths and, thus, information about the patient reserve capacities for functional restitution and compensation. Neuropsychology is an integral part of diagnostic evaluations mainly in the context of epilepsy surgery to avoid new or additional damage to preexisting neurocognitive impairments. In addition and increasingly, neuropsychology is being used as a tool for monitoring of the disease and its underlying pathologies, and it is suited for the quality and outcome control of pharmacological or other non-invasive medical intervention. This narrative review summarizes the present state of neuropsychological assessments in epilepsy, reveals diagnostic gaps, and shows the great need for education, homogenization, translation and standardization of instruments.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.seizure.2020.09.031

    View details for PubMedID 33172763

  • Cognitive disorders in epilepsy I: Clinical experience, real-world evidence and recommendations. Seizure Kanner, A. M., Helmstaedter, C. n., Sadat-Hossieny, Z. n., Meador, K. n. 2020


    This is the first of two narrative reviews on cognitive disorders in epilepsy (companion publication : Cognitive disorders in epilepsy II: Clinical Targets, Indications and Selection of Test Instruments). Its focus is on clinical experience, real-world evidence, and clinical recommendations. Cognitive disorders are a common comorbidity in children and adults with epilepsy. These cognitive disturbances may preceed the onset of seizures and are multifactorial including contributions by pre-existing brain damage, seizures, interictal epileptic discharges, and treatments including medications and surgery. Comorbid cognitive impairments can have a negative impact on the quality of life in people with epilepsy. They are under-identified and frequently not treated. Comorbid psychiatric disorders, such as ADHD can also contribute to a worse cognitive performance and can benefit from pharmacotherapy with CNS stimulants. Likewise, mood disorders cause a subjective perception of poor memory and attention, which can be reversed with antidepressants of the SSRI family. This narrative review discusses these issues from a real-world clinical perspective in children and adults with newly diagnosed and chronic epilepsy. The need for further research to understand and treat these disorders is noted.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.seizure.2020.10.009

    View details for PubMedID 33127274

  • Plateau waves of intracranial pressure mimicking seizure in a patient with fungal meningitis Wu, T., Sadat-Hossieny, Z., Gold, C. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2019
  • Role of Cerebrospinal Fluid Protein and Laboratory Testing in Guillain Barre Syndrome Saba, K., Sadat-Hossieny, Z., Arnold, W., Elsheikh, B., Kline, D., Stino, A. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2019
  • Pharmacological Agents in Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: Successes and Failures CLINICAL NEUROPHARMACOLOGY Behrouz, R., Sadat-Hosseiny, Z. 2015; 38 (3): 104–8


    Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) is a devastating condition with high mortality. Proper management of this complex disease requires early surgical intervention followed by medical therapy. Pharmacological agents that unequivocally improve outcomes in aSAH are scarce.The authors performed an exhaustive query of several databases including MEDLINE, the CENTRAL Register of Controlled Trials, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for specific evidence on key medications that have been used in the treatment of aSAH.The bulk of the data available pertained to the following medications: calcium channel blockers, magnesium, statins, antifibrinolytics, aspirin, glucocorticoids, clazosentan, and tirilazad. Except for calcium channel blockers, the authors could not find any hard evidence that any of these agents affected outcome to a tangible degree. Aspirin may have some promise in prevention of aneurysm rupture and incidence of aSAH, but more substantive data are needed to conclusively corroborate this.Investigational efforts to attain outcome-modifying agents have had dubious results, but the inquest for discovery should not discontinue.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/WNF.0000000000000085

    View details for Web of Science ID 000354655200004

    View details for PubMedID 25970278