Parent Q&A

Seeking Neurologist Recommendations May 26, 2019 (4 responses below)
Recommendations for Pediatric Neurologist Jan 25, 2019 (1 responses below)
Pediatric neurologist specializing seizures in young children Jul 26, 2018 (5 responses below)
Neurologist-- possibly specializing in Epilepsy Jan 8, 2017 (2 responses below)
Neurologist for epilepsy, supportive of alternative therapy Nov 30, 2016 (1 responses below)
  • Seeking Neurologist Recommendations

    (4 replies)

    Greetings, we are seeking a neurologist in the San Francisco bay area to assist with diagnosis for my partner who has developed significant symptoms. We are hoping to find recent recommendations (the previous ones I found on BPN were from 2011 and before). Does anyone have a personal recommendation for someone you have had a good experience with?

    I saw Donald Kitt MD in San Francisco, in the last 12 months, twice.  He was thorough and kind.  My regular doctor referred me.  But there must be many neurologists specializing in many conditions in the greater Bay Area who are excellent, so I wonder if getting a recommendation from a doctor would be better.

    I work as a staff member at UCSF and the neurology department is excellent. I would highly recommend coming here. The doctors are among the best in the country.

    I saw Dr. Brian Richardson in Berkeley last month. Like the previous reply, I am not sure if his specialization matches your needs, but he was pleasant and thorough. Also got recommended by my primary care dr.

  • Dear Friends ! 

    We are looking for a recommendations for a really good Pediatric Neurologist for our child. If the neurologist has an integrative and functional approach to medicine and care that would be a BIG plus. Please kindly HELP us ! 

    Thank you 


    Several years ago my son saw Candida Brown in Pleasant Hill. She was great and definitely worth the drive.

  • Hi, I am reaching out to to get some references for good pediatric neurologist specializing seizures in young children in SF Bay Area. Please suggest if you know any. Thank you so much in advance for your help  and eagerly waiting for your help. Thank you. Cheers. Kish.

    Marisa Gardner at Oakland Children’s Hospital

    When our son started having seizures as a toddler a friend who is a Neurologist did some research for us and recommended Dr. Joseph Sullivan at UCSF. We were able to get into see him very quickly and he was wonderful. We now have Kaiser insurance and have worked with another great Pediatric Neurologist at Kaiser, Dr. Sabrina Smith. 

    My son began seeing Dr. Candida Brown in Walnut Creek when he was 13 after a diagnosis with an auto-immune disease that causes seizures.  He is now 20.  We also went through UCSF Epilepsy which is hard to get into but worth the challenge.  We are all so lucky to be in the Bay Area with UCSF & Stanford in our neck of the woods.

  • Dear BPNers:  Since infancy my adult son has had seizures-- both the tonic clonic (aka 'grand mal') kind and the relatively newly named/discovered 'partial" seizures.  The grand mal ones are nicely tamed with medication.  The partial ones are an odd ball of symptoms with differing opinions about what happens, why, and how one might be helped.  (Son has what is considered to be both 'simple' and 'complex' partial seizures)  He just moved here from Oregon & we're thankful he's closer.   Can you recommend a neurologist?  Also recommend a neuro-psychologist ?  If they specialize in epilepsy that's a plus but not a requirement.  Thanks so much.

    Our daughter has had complex partial seizures for 29 years. She's 36 now. Unfortunately her epilepsy has been quite intractible. We've had wonderful care from the Epilepsy Center at UCSF. The neurologist's name is Dr.Tina Shih. We've also seen Dr.Garcia there. Both are very good. Dr. Shih has been with us for 8 years. She's kind,thoughtful, a good listener and takes the time to answer all our questions. 

    We see Dr Foster-Barber at UCSF. She is a fantastic neurologist (although my son doesn't see her for epilepsy). Very smart but still has good bedside manner. Great with the child and the parents. 

  • Hi,

    I am looking for a Neurologist in San Francisco for my 22 year old son afflicted by epilepsy and consequent memory impairment. We are looking for someone who has experience in  dealing with memory issues in young adults and open to the idea of alternative therapy. If someone has any leads, it would be really helpful.


    I recommend seeing an epilepsy specialist at UCSF's Epilepsy Center. My ex has had a good experience there with Dr. Paul Garcia for over 10 years. I'm not sure about using alternative therapies only depending on seizure severity, but complementary therapies would be supported. For the memory issues, an epileptologist is likely to order neuropsychological testing, which is done in house at UCSF. The testing is really helpful in terms of understanding the specific cognitive trouble spots, and also serves as documentation for accommodations in academic or vocational settings. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Has anyone been to Selena Ellis, MD

Dec 2011

I am looking for a neurologist and there is someone in my network, Selena Ellis, who doesn't have any reviews online. I am interested in her because she also does acupuncture. If you have been to see Dr. Ellis, I would love to hear about your experience. I work best with doctors who are respectful and attentive so I prefer to read a few reviews before seeing someone. Thanks. seekinggoodneurologist

Dr. Selena Ellis has been my doctor since spring of 2011, I highly recommend her as a doctor. She is down to earth, warm, a good listener and more importantly on top everything. Her office staff is awesome and I have never had to wait of any length of time for my appointments. If you need more info feel free to email me. Michelle

Neurologist in Oakland or Berkeley

Oct 2011

I am looking for a referral for a neurologist who is an excellent problem solver/detective for my husband who has a number of unexplained neurological problems. We recently moved to the East Bay and would like to find a neurologist here. Thank you. MG

You asked for a neurologist who is a good problem solver / detective. I recommend Dr. Joshua Kuluva very highly: He really does ''detective work'' and has helped both my husband and myself track down the causes and figure out a better plan to manage a number of neurological conditions and symptoms. His office is on Telegraph nr Russell. Happy patient of Dr Kuluva's

Pediatric Neurologist for CP Diagnosis

May 2009

We are looking to get a second opinion in the event our son is diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he turns one. I think that my son is fine, but his neurologist is concerned with his tone issues (they have gotten better with each examination, but are still there). We currently go to Kaiser Oakland, so we are looking for someone at another Kaiser facility or (ideally)outside of Kaiser. I guess a developmental specialist might be helpful as well. DJ

Hi, My daughter was diagnosed with mild right-side hemiplegia (right-side weakness) at 16 months. This is one of many different classifications that fall under the huge umbrella Cerebral Palsy. With loads of early intervention (therapy, ankle-foot brace, and periodic botox injections) she is an amazing, active, 9 year-old. (She rides her bike, scooter, swims, and has done karate for 2 and 1/2 years.) Most people would never know she has CP. She hasn't worn a brace for 5 years (she has custom orthotics), periodically gets checked with Dr. Scott Hoffinger at Children's, sees Physical Therapist Christine Egan, and Dr. Elaine Pico who is about to administer botox again. (Her last botox was 2 years ago. The botox helps to release her calf muscles allowing her to get her heel on the ground.)

The reason I tell you this is because early intervention is critical. We had an MRI done at Children's when our daughter was about 20 months. This helped us know what part of her brain was affected (which is helping to understand some of her learning difficulties) and confirmed her diagnosis. Since that time I feel we have built a phenominal team to help my daughter thrive. If your child does have CP, he sounds mild. Children with mild CP often get somewhat passed over since they don't have high needs, and it's up to you to fight to get what is best for your child - and sometimes that takes a lot. Additionally, a diagnosis opens lots of doors for treatment and services that could really help your child. I know it's hard to find out your child is anything but perfect. Please feel free to contact me with any quesitons. jjs



Neurologist for seizures in young child

Jan 2007

I am looking for recommendations for a Pediatric Neurologist. Perhaps one who has had good success with seizures in young children. We live in Oakland but I'd take my little guy to the moon if neccessary.

We've had alot of experience with pediatric neurology and seizure disorders. By far, the best doctor we ever had was Candace Brown at Children's Hospital, Oakland. We also like Paul Garcia at UCMed. Email me if I can be helpful to you. beverly

Hello. I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Luis Bello-Espinosa in SF at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC). I went through 3 ped. neurologists and fought with my HMO (and won) so that my son could see him. He is well-reputed, well-studied, and very personable! Go here: He is the absolute best. Good luck! MS

Our son was treated by pediatric neurologist JEAN HAYWARD at Kaiser Oakland for seizures. She is definitely the expert for seizures in young children in the Bay Area. We knew another family from Marin who went to a specialist at Stanford for their son's seizures, and they were ultimately referred back here to Jean Hayward. A little caution: Dr. Hayward is known for being somewhat (quite) blunt at times, but she is extremely knowledgeable (particularly regarding which seizure meds work best for different seizure types), and we felt she gave our son the best care possible. We also grew to like and trust her very much in a very difficult situation. I did a lot of my own research, and concluded that she really was the best around. I believe she is still at Kaiser Oakland, but I no longer have her phone number. Best of luck to you and your son. anon

Neurologist for mild, stable case of MS

Nov 2005

I am looking for a neurologist for a yearly check-up for my multiple sclerosis. Since I was diagnosed 8 years ago, I have only had 2 episodes, neither of which left significant residual symptoms, so most years I have only needed to contact my neurologist to renew my Copaxone prescription (knock wood that this will be the future pattern as well). Now that I recently began to have decent health insurance, I would like to see someone to get a more thorough check-up and re-assess my treatment/management options. I am looking for someone who supports the use of Copaxone, will not cause me anxiety by expecting the worst, will support my general attitude of taking my medicine reliably but otherwise not thinking about my MS most of the time, and who is up on the medical literature. She/he does not need to be an MS specialist. I appreciate any recommendations, particularly in Berkeley/Oakland. anonymous

Try the doctors at UCSF MS center( They are more than worth the trip over to the City. Good Luck

Neurologist in SF for hand tremor

Nov 2005

I'm looking for a neurologist in San Francisco to diagnose/treat a tremor in my hand. Any recommendations? -Shaky

I had a second opinion on my hand tremor done by Ann Poncelet at the UCSF Neurology Department. She was great, knew just what it was and how to allay my anxieties. Heather (with Benign Essential Tremor)

Neurologist for adult's seizures

May 2005

Does anyone have recent experience with a neurologist (for adults) in the East Bay or SF? My main problem with neurologists I've seen so far is that they didn't really seem to care about me as a person (and my seizures have been strongly related to my personal history). Since all of my brain tests have always come out normal, the neurologists I've dealt with so far just seemed to want to prescribe a medication that would suppress the seizures and leave it at that. I am looking for someone who is personable and who is interested in approaching this illness more from a mind/body perspective rather than using just the standard, contemporary medical approach.

Do you have Kaiser? If so, Dr. Amgott-Kwan at Kaiser Oakland is a great neurologist who actually works side by side with a behavioral medicine psychologist both of whom are VERY supportive of alternative and mind-body practices. anon

I didn't see the original post. I can recommend Richard Cuneo for neurology. Both my husband and I have gone to him for a stroke and recurrent Bell's Palsy over the past 15 years. He is incredibly thorough, bright and personable. He has always been available, even when he has been on vacation. He has also been voted the neurologist that doctors would most like to use if needed in the KQED surveys. He is a professor at UCSF and has his office at 3838 California, SF. His number is 415-221-3006. Good luck. linda

Brown & Toland neurologist for seizures

Oct 2004

Hi, Can anyone recommend a good neurologist in San Francisco with Brown and Toland medical group? I have a stable seizure disorder and am interested in checking out other medication options besides what I'm on (dilantin), and want someone who will work with me around this. Julie

I work at UCSF (inpatient) with the epilepsy team. Our epilepsy specialists that are with B are Paul Garcia, MD, and William Marks, MD. (both very good). Good Luck. Kathleen

Dr. Andrews is a B nuerosurgeon in SF and saved my life, as well as that of my closets friends. His office will certainly refer you to the best. If that doesn't work (I can't imagine that) email me and I'll call my friend with a siezure disorder and get her doctor's info for you. But definitely keep Andrew's name on hand, he's totally the best. Nicki

Pediatric neurologist for epilepsy

June 2003

Hello. My 4 yr. old son has just had two unexplained seizures, five weeks apart. His current pediatrician is not as good as he used to be and appears to be heavily medicated when we have appointments with him. His initial diagnosis is Benign Epilepsy of Childhood. Does anyone have an experienced pediatrician who has experience with seizure disorders in young children? We live in West Contra Costa County. Thank you!

There aren't that many pediatric neurologists, but you definitely should see one. My son sees Dr. Daniel Birnbaum at Children's Hospital in Oakland-he is very nice, if not always that assertive. Your child may need medication, and he should get an EEG. Don't leave it to your primary care physician! anon

Pediatric neurologist for 2-year-old's seizures

June 2003

My daughter (almost 2) just had her second complex partial seizure and we need to see a pediatric neurologist to get an EEG and possibly an MRI. I saw the recommendations for pediatric neurosurgeons, but none of the names are on my list (Hill Physicians), and I didn't see any plain old neurologists (is there such a thing?). I'd love to hear from other parents who have been through this kind of thing, also.

The doctors at Childrens' hospital Oakland are fantastic. They work with state of the art equipment and truly cutting edge procedures. Children fly from all over the country for their first-rate care. Unfortunatly I don't have any specific names for you because my son stayed there for reasons not having to do with neurology. but it would be the first palce I would look. Jessica

I am not sure if this helps, but my son was seen and evaluated by Dr. Peter Sun at Children's Hospital Oakland. Dr. Sun ordered all the tests, figured out the extent of the neurologic problem (very different from seizures), and operated on my little guy. Dr. Sun is the head of neurosurgery there and one of the most caring and thoughtful physicians I have ever met. He works with a great nurse practitioner, Sue, who is also a good resource when going through something this stressful. We have Hill Physicians through HealthNet and we have had no problems with referals or bills. Send me an e-mail if you want more details. Sarah

My infant son has experience with Pediatric Neurosurgeons, unfortunately, and among the 2 best are: 1) Peter Sun at Oakland's Children's Hospital 510/428-3319
2) Nalin Gupta at UCSF, also has offices in Walnut Creek 925/945-6098

Pediatric Neurologist for seizures

June 2003

Hello. My 4 yr. old son has just had two unexplained seizures, five weeks apart. His current pediatrician is not as good as he used to be and appears to be heavily medicated when we have appointments with him. His initial diagnosis is Benign Epilepsy of Childhood. Does anyone have an experienced pediatrician who has experience with seizure disorders in young children? We live in West Contra Costa County. Thank you! marn

There aren't that many pediatric neurologists, but you definitely should see one. My son sees Dr. Daniel Birnbaum at Children's Hospital in Oakland-he is very nice, if not always that assertive. Your child may need medication, and he should get an EEG. Don't leave it to your primary care physician! anon

Neurologist for adults in the East Bay

August 2001

Can anyone recommend an adult neurologist, preferably in the East Bay. My husband currently sees Dr. Eric Collins and we are looking for someone else. Many thanks. Adele

A friend saw and highly recommends:
Dr. Heidi Shale East Bay Neurology 3000 Colby Street, Suite 201 Berkeley, California 94705 510/ 849-0499

Dr. John Friedberg 510-644-2282 3000 Colby St. Ste. 305 Berkeley, CA
excellent doctor -- with a great sense of humor and great rapport with patients. Christine

Dr. Randall Starkey in Oakland. 510-834-5778. Very personable and knowledgeable. -- DrCandAC

I'd like to recommend John Friedberg. His office # is 510-644-2282, and his office is at 3000 Colby St, Ste # 305 in Berkeley. I went to him for migraines -- and he was very knowledgeable and helpful in discussing my treatment. Unfortunately, there isn't much out there other than imitrex. He referred me to a wonderful book by Oliver Sacks called Migraine as a reference. Christine

I highly recommend Dr. Joanna Cooper, East Bay Neurology, across from Alta Bates Hospital. She is very busy so be prepared to wait for an appointment but it will be worth it. She is very down to earth, attentive, honest and realistic. She may not be able to stop the migraines totally but will offer to reduce number and severity of headaches. She worked a miracle for me. Good luck. Patricia

I can second the recommendation on Dr. Friedberg in Berkeley. Not all neurologists are headache guys, but Friedberg is. I have suffered with migraines since I was a child and have had many bad experiences with neurologists as an adult. Dr. Friedberg is the most knowledgable Dr. I've met about migraine headaches. Janet

I don't see a neurologist specifically for migraines, but I have found Dr. Joanna Cooper (office near Alta Bates Hospital) to be excellent. She is very communicative (something I have found rare in the neurologists I have seen), carefully explaining tests, results, and in general taking plenty of time to answer my questions. She also discusses her recommendations with me and makes sure I understand that I can choose not to have specific tests etc. if I want. Karen

I recommend Dr. Michael Stein, MD in Walnut Creek te. 925-938-5252. He helped me find relief with some of the newer pills. Susan